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We cannot say we did not know
"In fifty years, the next generation will ask, 'What were you doing when the children of Iraq were dying?"
- Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

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Table of Contents

  • Shock and Awe - Achieving Rapid Dominance. Pentagon’s  “Shock and Awe” Battle Plan for Iraq. Written By Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade  - Prepared by Defense Group Inc. for The National Defense University - NDU Press Book - 1996 - Download the ebook   here (pdf-version)

  • Reports on the situation of Iraqi refugees 2003-2007  (16 December 2007)  

  • INFO-Irak  2007    Israeli Doctors Treat Iraqi Patients  

  • INFO-Irak  2003 - 2006

  • INFO-Irak 2002

  • SC Resolutions + UN Documents + Humanitarian Law

  • International Organizations

  • NGOs + Universities + Other Sources 

  • Newspapers + Books




Cost of the War in Iraq


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Compare the US-costs of war with:
Public HousingPublic EducationPre-SchoolsChildren's HealthCollege Scholarships

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq

In Iraq, there have been two scientifically rigorous cluster surveys conducted since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. The first, published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet,  estimated that 100,000 excess Iraqi deaths had resulted from the invasion as of September 2004. The second survey, also published in The Lancet (available in pdf), updated that estimate through July 2006. Due to an escalating mortality rate, the researchers estimated that over 650,000 Iraqis had died who would not have died had the death rate remained at pre-invasion levels. Roughly 601,000 of those excess deaths were due to violence.

Who Will Tell Our Stories?

"I saw the bullets enter my children's heads," she said. "My son was sitting right next to me when the bullet went through his forehead. One minute I was a mother, a wife with a family; the next minute my family was gone."

On April 5, 2003, U.S. forces pushed into downtown Baghdad. The next day, they encircled the city and heavy fighting broke out. Bombs leveled entire buildings, tanks thundered down the streets, and the sounds of gunshots reverberated through the air. There was intense fighting in the neighborhood where Vivian Salim and her family lived.

Terrified, she and her husband Izzat grabbed their three children and jumped into the car, trying to escape to a safer place. They were driving down the street when they crossed paths with a U.S. tank.
With no warning, the soldiers in the tank began shooting straight at the car.  Salim screamed, pleading with them to stop, but the soldiers just kept shooting. When they finally stopped, they discovered that they had just killed a family of unarmed civilians. Vivian Salim's husband, her 15-year-old son Hussam, her 12-year-old son Waseem, and her daughter Merna, age 6, were all dead. "I saw the bullets enter my children's heads," she said. "My son was sitting right next to me when the bullet went through his forehead. One minute I was a mother, a wife with a family; the next minute my family was gone." The soldiers ordered Vivian to leave, and to leave her family's bullet-ridden bodies behind. "After a week of pleading with the Americans, they finally gave the bodies back to us. We took them to the church where we washed them, prayed for them, and then buried them." Vivian Salim now lives with her elderly parents. The U.S. military never acknowledged their terrible mistake, never apologized to Salim for her loss, and never offered her any financial help.
Now, nearly three years later, Salim and six other Iraqi women have been invited by the women's peace group CODEPINK to come to the United States to tell their stories and push for an end to the occupation of their country. The other delegates are doctors, engineers, journalists and humanitarian aid workers. One delegate, Anwar kadhim Jwad, is also a widow whose husband and children were killed by U.S. soldiers at an unmarked roadblock.
But when Vivian Salim traveled across the long and dangerous desert road from Baghdad to Amman, Jordan on February 2 to solicit a two-week visa from the U.S. Embassy, her visa application was rejected. The Consular officer told her that she failed to show convincing evidence that she would return to Iraq. When the CODEPINK staff called the State Department to object, they were told that Salim did not have "sufficient family ties that would compel her to return." Anwar Kadhim Jawad, the other delegate whose family was killed by U.S. soldiers, was also rejected for lack of sufficient family ties.
"It's outrageous," said activist Cindy Sheehan, who will be in Washington D.C. to greet the Iraqi women's delegation. "First we kill these poor women's families, then we tell them they don't have sufficient family ties. First we invade their country, then we refuse to allow them to visit ours." Gael Murphy, a CODEPINK cofounder who has been coordinating the delegation, is working with Congress to try to reverse the decision. "These women have no desire to stay in the United States. We had a very hard time convincing them to come, but we told them how important it was for Americans to hear their stories," Murphy said. CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans, who has led several fact-finding missions to Iraq, suspects that other factors influenced the State Department's decision.
"These women's stories are heartbreaking, and the administration doesn't want the U.S. public to hear them. They don't want the American people to know how cruel this occupation is, or to know that the majority of Iraqis want the U.S. troops to leave," Evans said. The Bush administration insists it is bringing democracy to Iraq; yet refuses to listen to the wishes of the Iraqi people. Now we see just how far the administration will go to keep the voices of Iraqis away from the  American public. Published on Friday, March 3, 2006 by CommonDreams.org by Medea Benjamin who is cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the human rights group Global Exchange. For more information about the delegation, visit: womensaynotowar.org



Scars from Iraq (© 2007 MSNBC.com)


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Shock and Awe - Achieving Rapid Dominance

The Pentagon's blueprint for invading Iraq.

Written By Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade - Prepared by Defense Group Inc. for The National Defense University - 1996  Download the ebook for free  here (pdf-version) The “Shock and Awe” Experiment

Compilation, Analysis and Discussion of Available Information on the Pentagon’s  “Shock and Awe” Battle Plan for Iraq Especially as It Affects Civilian Infrastructure and the Civilian Population

Moved by 'Shock and Awe'  

Mark Vander Vennen - 2003 On February 13, 2003, in a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Prime Minister Chretien, urged the United States not to attack Iraq without a mandate from the United Nations. Why such clarity of conviction, after a period of waffling? Shock and Awe No doubt Mr. Chretien was briefed about "Shock and Awe," the Pentagon's blueprint for invading Iraq. By the time you read this, the U.S. and its "Coalition of the Willing" may already be pummelling Iraq with a shower of destruction that will make Hiroshima look like child's play. "Shock and Awe" was devised by Harlan Ullman, a Washington military strategist. One of his pupils, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, credits Ullman with "raising my vision several levels." According to CBS News, Day 1 of the Iraq invasion will consist of attacking Iraq with 300-400 cruise missiles--more missiles than used during the entire Gulf War. Day 2 will consist of another 300-400 missiles. An average of as much as one missile every four minutes will rain utter devastation on Iraq for the first 48 hours of the war. "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," said one Pentagon official. Ullman told CBS reporter David Martin, "You take the city down. You get rid of their power, water. In two to five days they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted." To CBS, Ullman stated, "You have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes." The saturation bombing envisioned is unprecedented in military history. One Pentagon official explained, "the sheer size of this has never been seen before, never contemplated before." I can well imagine that Mr. Chretien became firm in his conviction when he was confronted with "Shock and Awe. " Total War Ullman's reference to water would be comical if it were not macabre. Iraq's infrastructure has been decimated, and clean water is already a deadly health problem in Iraq. Indeed, one would think that the Iraqi people are already shocked and awed. An estimated one million people, half of them children, have died in Iraq after the Gulf War as a result of UN-imposed sanctions, prompting Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1976, to say, "In 50 years, the next generation will ask, 'What were you doing when the children of Iraq were dying?'" To give this figure a sense of scale, 140,000 people died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Further, British and American pilots have bombed Iraq an average of more than once per week from the end of the Gulf War until now, using cluster bombs carrying spent uranium. Among the murderous effects of this campaign: childhood cancers in Iraq have increased 240% since 1998. The underpinnings of the Pentagon's battle blueprint were developed in a book called, Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, published by the Pentagon's National Defense University in 1996. Ullman is a principal author, and the book makes for chilling reading. It develops the perspective of 19th century strategist Carl yon Clausewitz, who formulated the concept of "Total War" from its beginnings in the French Revolution. Chapter 4 of Shock and Awe lays out the case: One recalls from old photographs and movie or television screens, the comatose and glazed expressions of survivors of the great bombardments of World War I and the attendant horrors and death of trench warfare. These images and expressions of shock transcend race, culture and history. Indeed, TV coverage of Desert Storm vividly portrayed Iraqi soldiers registering these effects of battlefield "Shock and Awe." I am sure that Mr. Chretien's conscience was stricken when he heard such words, and he was emboldened to speak out in Chicago.

Ends justify, the means "Total War," "Shock and Awe," and "Rapid Dominance" are not about defence against an attack. For Clausewitz, Ullman and present decision-makers in Washington, war and invasion are merely normal tools for an achieving political ends. And the ends are now justifying the means. The ends--fighting terrorism, ensuring freedom around the world, liberating the people of Iraq from horrific police state brutality, maximizing material prosperity--have become absolute. And absolute ends demand absolute means. They require a policy of pre-emptive strike--a massive policy shift. They require the use of nuclear weapons. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Pentagon's plans for the Iraq attack now include the use of so-called nuclear "bunker busters", as simply one among a menu of assault possibilities. They also demand altering the definition of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention to prohibit only weapons that kill. The US is now producing astonishing trial versions of chemical weapons that maim or injure, in direct contradiction of President Nixon's commitment when he signed the Convention, not to mention the West's legitimate demand of Iraq to destroy and not produce chemical weapons. All of these new "means" contravene international law. What happens when a society allows its ends to justify the means for achieving them? Truth becomes warped. And justice, righteousness, stewardship and love of our neighbours, including our enemies, become trampled upon. Wake-Up Call But some in that society also wake up. President Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church. His bishop, together with the other bishops of the denomination, are now publicly opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq, going so far as to take out TV ads to declare their conviction. In his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus adopted the form of a victorious king returning home to his capital city from battle. Contrary to every expectation, Jesus rode into Jerusalem (which means the "City of Peace") on a donkey instead of a horse and chariot (Zech. 9:9-10; Lk. 19:41-44)--something akin to meeting a squadron of F-22s in a hot air balloon. These comments only begin to scratch the surface of the powerful New Testament material related to war and peace. Building Peace The United Methodist bishops have examined their sources, But what about us--Canadian citizens of conscience and our sources? How awake are we? What will we actually contribute to peace? I believe that we first need to critically review two of our sources--revenge, and the so-called "just war" position, with an openess to reject them. In my view, the United States' present stance towards Iraq contains an element of revenge. At the same time, sometimes the quality of people's anger at the United States over its policies against Iraq is not terribly different from the same impulse towards revenge. If we do not first examine and deal with our own capacity for revenge, then we will only escalate the tensions, no matter how correct our analysis or appropriate our alternative proposals. With Iraq, politicians and others often make the argument that military force must remain an option, though only as a last resort. Some even erroneously defend this position using the "Just War" theory. The argument reveals how utterly the just war/pacificist paradigm disengages us from current events, and how entirely unsuitable it is as a source. A military assault against Iraq today is by definition a 'pre-emptive' strike. Like the UN Charter, just war principles legitimize armed defence only if attacked, and then only under strict humanitarian conditions. By contrast, in practice, supporting a military attack of Iraq today, even as a last resort is equivalent to advocating horrific crimes against humanity. Bush and Blair have no blueprint for militarily overthrowing Iraq other than "Total War," and "Shock and Awe." As recently as the Cold War, many adherents of "just war" publicly denounced as morally reprehensible and unacceptable the use of weapons such as those envisioned under "Shock and Awe." Today, however, in a remarkable leap of intellectual and academic dishonesty and deception, the just war theory is used to vigorously defend actions which no War Crimes Tribunal would ever sanction. Let's build a new peace-building paradigm instead, and let's incorporate a living understanding of peace building into our notions of public justice. Which vision of life, which source will we choose? "Total War," "Shock and Awe?" Or will we be awed by peace? Mark gander Vennen is the Executive Director Coordinator of Children's Case Coordination services, serving the east region of Ont. He lives in Cobourg. This article is a brief digest of a recent talk entitled, Building Peace and Justice for All, available at www.crcjustice.org/crjs_peace.htm COPYRIGHT 2003 Catholic New Times, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group


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The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad
by William Langewiesche - Vanity Fair - November 2007

The new American Embassy in Baghdad will be the largest, least welcoming, and most lavish embassy in the world: a $600 million massively fortified compound with 619 blast-resistant apartments and a food court fit for a shopping mall. Unfortunately, like other similarly constructed U.S. Embassies, it may already be obsolete. 

The new United States Embassy rises above Baghdad—one of the only projects in Iraq being completed within budget and on time. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images.

When the new American Embassy in Baghdad entered the planning stage, more than three years ago, U.S. officials inside the Green Zone were still insisting that great progress was being made in the construction of a new Iraq. I remember a surreal press conference in which a U.S. spokesman named Dan Senor, full of governmental conceits, described the marvelous developments he personally had observed during a recent sortie (under heavy escort) into the city. His idea now was to set the press straight on realities outside the Green Zone gates. Senor was well groomed and precocious, fresh into the world, and he had acquired a taste for appearing on TV. The assembled reporters were by contrast a disheveled and unwashed lot, but they included serious people of deep experience, many of whom lived fully exposed to Iraq, and knew that society there was unraveling fast. Some realized already that the war had been lost, though such were the attitudes of the citizenry back home that they could not yet even imply this in print.

Now they listened to Senor as they increasingly did, setting aside their professional skepticism for attitudes closer to fascination and wonder. Senor's view of Baghdad was so disconnected from the streets that, at least in front of this audience, it would have made for impossibly poor propaganda. Rather, he seemed truly convinced of what he said, which in turn could be explained only as the product of extreme isolation. Progress in the construction of a new Iraq? Industry had stalled, electricity and water were failing, sewage was flooding the streets, the universities were shuttered, the insurgency was expanding, sectarianism was on the rise, and gunfire and explosions now marked the days as well as the nights. Month by month, Baghdad was crumbling back into the earth. Senor apparently had taken heart that shops remained open, selling vegetables, fruits, and household goods. Had he ventured out at night he would have seen that some sidewalk cafés remained crowded as well. But almost the only construction evident in the city was of the Green Zone defenses themselves—erected in a quest for safety at the cost of official interactions with Iraq. Senor went home, married a Washington insider, and became a commentator on Fox News. Eventually he set himself up in the business of "crisis communications," as if even he finally realized that Iraq had gone horribly wrong.

Inside the Green Zone the talk of progress slowed and then died. The first of the nominal Iraqi governments arrived and joined the Americans in their oasis. The rest of Baghdad became the fearsome "Red Zone," and completely off limits to American officials, although reporters and other unaffiliated Westerners continued to live and work there. Meanwhile, through institutional momentum and without regard to the fundamental mission—the reason for being there in the first place—the Green Zone defenses kept growing, surrounding the residents with ever more layers of checkpoints and blast walls, and forcing American officials to withdraw into their highly defended quarters at the Republican Palace, whereupon even the Green Zone became for them a forbidden land.

That was the process that has led, now, to this—the construction of an extravagant new fortress into which a thousand American officials and their many camp followers are fleeing. The compound, which will be completed by late fall, is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world, a walled expanse the size of Vatican City, containing 21 reinforced buildings on a 104-acre site along the Tigris River, enclosed within an extension of the Green Zone which stretches toward the airport road. The new embassy cost $600 million to build, and is expected to cost another $1.2 billion a year to run—a high price even by the profligate standards of the war in Iraq. The design is the work of an architectural firm in Kansas City named Berger Devine Yaeger, which angered the State Department last May by posting its plans and drawings on the Internet, and then responding to criticism with the suggestion that Google Earth offers better views. Google Earth offers precise distance measurements and geographic coordinates too.

But the location of the compound is well known in Baghdad anyway, where for several years it has been marked by large construction cranes and all-night work lights easily visible from the embattled neighborhoods across the river. It is reasonable to assume that insurgents will soon sit in the privacy of rooms overlooking the site, and use cell phones or radios to adjust the rocket and mortar fire of their companions. Meanwhile, however, they seem to have held off, lobbing most of their ordnance elsewhere into the Green Zone, as if reluctant to slow the completion of such an enticing target.

The construction has proceeded within budget and on time. For the State Department, this is a matter of pride. The prime contractor is First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting, which for security reasons was not allowed to employ Iraqi laborers, and instead imported more than a thousand workers from such countries as Bangladesh and Nepal. The importation of Third World laborers is a standard practice in Iraq, where the huge problem of local unemployment is trumped by American fears of the local population, and where it is not unusual, for instance, to find U.S. troops being served in chow halls by Sri Lankans wearing white shirts and bow ties. First Kuwaiti has been accused of holding its workers in captivity by keeping their passports in a safe, as if otherwise they could have blithely exited the Green Zone, caught a ride to the airport, passed through the successive airport checkpoints, overcome the urgent crowds at the airline counters, purchased a ticket, bribed the police to ignore the country's myriad exit requirements (including a recent H.I.V. test), and hopped a flight for Dubai. Whatever the specific allegations, which First Kuwaiti denies, in the larger context of Iraq the accusation is absurd. It is Iraq that holds people captive. Indeed, the U.S government itself is a prisoner, and all the more tightly held because it engineered the prison where it resides. The Green Zone was built by the inmates themselves. The new embassy results from their desire to get their confinement just right.

Details remain secret, but the essentials are known. The perimeter walls stand at least nine feet high and are made of reinforced concrete strong enough to deflect the blast from mortars, rockets, and car bombs that might detonate outside. Presumably the walls are watched over by fortified towers and are set back from a perimeter wire by swaths of prohibited free-fire zones. There are five defensible entrance gates, most of which remain closed. There is also a special emergency gate, meant to handle contingencies such as the collapse of the Green Zone or an American rout. Inside the compound, or very near, there is a helipad to serve the ambassador and other top officials as they shuttle around on important business. Implicit in the construction of such a helipad is the hope in the worst case of avoiding the sort of panicked public rooftop departure that marked the American defeat in Vietnam. Never let it be said that the State Department does not learn from history.

For the most part, however, the new embassy is not about leaving Iraq, but about staying on—for whatever reason, under whatever circumstances, at whatever cost. As a result the compound is largely self-sustaining, and contains its own power generators, water wells, drinking-water treatment plant, sewage plant, fire station, irrigation system, Internet uplink, secure intranet, telephone center (Virginia area code), cell-phone network (New York area code), mail service, fuel depot, food and supply warehouses, vehicle-repair garage, and workshops. At the core stands the embassy itself, a massive exercise in the New American Bunker style, with recessed slits for windows, a filtered and pressurized air-conditioning system against chemical or biological attack, and sufficient office space for hundreds of staff. Both the ambassador and deputy ambassador have been awarded fortified residences grand enough to allow for elegant diplomatic receptions even with the possibility of mortar rounds dropping in from above.

As for the rest of the embassy staff, most of the government employees are moving into 619 blast-resistant apartments, where they will enjoy a new level of privacy that, among its greatest effects, may ease some of the sexual tension that has afflicted Green Zone life. Fine—as a general rule the world would be a better place if American officials concentrated more of their energies on making love. But unfortunately even within the Baghdad embassy, with its romance-inducing isolation, a sexual solution is too much to expect. Instead, the residents fight their frustrations with simulations of home—elements of America in the heart of Baghdad that seem to have been imported from Orange County or the Virginia suburbs. The new embassy has tennis courts, a landscaped swimming pool, a pool house, and a bomb-resistant recreation center with a well-equipped gym. It has a department store with bargain prices, where residents (with appropriate credentials) can spend some of their supplemental hazardous-duty and hardship pay. It has a community center, a beauty salon, a movie theater, and an American Club, where alcohol is served. And it has a food court where third-country workers (themselves ultra-thin) dish up a wealth of choices to please every palate. The food is free. Take-out snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables, sushi rolls, and low-calorie specials. Sandwiches, salads, and hamburgers. American comfort food, and theme cuisines from around the world, though rarely if ever from the Middle East. Ice cream and apple pie. All of it is delivered by armed convoys up the deadly roads from Kuwait. Dread ripples through the embassy's population when, for instance, the yogurt supply runs low. Back home in Washington the State Department is confronting the issue of post-traumatic stress after people return.

America didn't use to be like this. Traditionally it was so indifferent to setting up embassies that after its first 134 years of existence, in 1910, it owned diplomatic properties in only five countries abroad—Morocco, Turkey, Siam, China, and Japan. The United States did not have an income tax at that time. Perhaps as a result, American envoys on public expense occupied rented quarters to keep the costs down. In 1913 the first national income tax was imposed, at rates between 1 and 7 percent, with room for growth in the future. Congress gradually relaxed its squeeze on the State Department's budget. Then the United States won World War II. It emerged into the 1950s as a self-convinced power, locked in a struggle against the Soviet Union.

This was the era of the great diplomatic expansion, when no country was deemed too small or unimportant to merit American attention. The United States embarked on a huge embassy-construction program. The Soviets did, too. The Soviet Embassies were heavy neoclassical things, thousand-year temples built of stone and meant to impress people with the permanence of an insecure state. The new U.S. facilities by contrast were showcases for modernist design, airy structures drawn up in steel and glass, full of light, and accessible to the streets. They were meant to represent a country that is generous, open, and progressive, and to some degree they succeeded—for instance by simultaneously offering access to libraries that were largely uncensored, dispensing visas and money, and arranging for cultural exchanges. A fundamental purpose for these structures at that time remained firmly in mind.

But no matter how sunny they seemed, the U.S. Embassies also embodied darker sides that lay within the very optimism they portrayed—America's excess of certainty, its interventionist urge, its fresh-faced, clear-eyed capacity for killing. These traits have long been apparent to the world, though by definition less to Americans themselves. It would be illuminating to know how many local interventions—overt and covert, large and small—have been directed from behind U.S. Embassy walls. The count must run to the thousands. An early response was delivered on March 30, 1965, when a Vietcong car bomb destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, killing 22 people and injuring 186. Referring recently to the attack, the former diplomat Charles Hill wrote, "The political shock was that an absolutely fundamental principle of international order—the mutually agreed upon inviolability of diplomats and their missions operating in host countries—was violated." A shock is similar to a surprise. Did it not come to mind that for years the same embassy had been violating Vietnam? Hill is now at Stanford's Hoover Institution and at Yale. Explaining more recent troubles at U.S. Embassies abroad, he wrote, "What the average American tourist needs to know is that the American government is not responsible for these difficulties. It is the rise of terrorist movements, which have set themselves monstrously against the basic foundations of international order, law and established diplomatic practice."

Hill is 71. He was a mission coordinator at the embassy in Saigon, and rose to become the State Department's chief of staff. After decades of service, he seems to equate international order with the schematics of diplomatic design. His "average American tourist" is young, female, and perhaps less grateful than he believes. U.S. Embassies are not pristine diplomatic oases, but full-blown governmental hives, heavy with C.I.A. operatives, and representative of a country that however much it is admired is also despised. The point is not that the C.I.A. should be excluded from hallowed ground, or that U.S. interventions are necessarily counterproductive, but that diplomatic immunity is a flimsy conceit naturally just ignored, especially by guerrillas who expect no special status for themselves and are willing to die in a fight. So it was in Saigon, where a new, fortified embassy was built, and during the suicidal Tet offensive of 1968 nearly overrun.

The violations of diplomatic immunity spread as elsewhere in the world U.S. Embassies and their staffs began to come under attack. High-ranking envoys were assassinated by terrorists in Guatemala City in 1968, Khartoum in 1973, Nicosia in 1974, Beirut in 1976, and Kabul in 1979. Also in 1979 came the hostage-taking at the embassy in Tehran, when the host government itself participated in the violation—though in angry reference to America's earlier installation of an unpopular Shah. In April 1983 it was Beirut again: a van loaded with explosives detonated under the embassy portico, collapsing the front half of the building and killing 63 people. Seventeen of the dead were Americans, of whom eight worked for the C.I.A. The embassy was moved to a more secure location, where nonetheless another truck bomb was exploded, in September 1984, with the loss of 22 lives. These were not isolated events. During the 10 years following the loss of Saigon, in 1975, there had been by some estimates nearly 240 attacks or attempted attacks against U.S. diplomats and their facilities worldwide. On October 23, 1983, also in Beirut, terrorists carried out the huge truck-bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks, killing 242 American servicemen in an explosion said to be the largest non-nuclear bomb blast in history. One could argue the merits of American foreign policy in the long run, but in the immediate it seemed that something had to be done.

The State Department set up a panel to study the question of security. It was chaired by a retired admiral named Bobby Inman, who had headed the National Security Agency and been second-in-command at the C.I.A. Ask a security question and you'll get a security answer: in June 1985 the panel issued a report that called predictably for the wholesale and radical fortification of roughly half of the 262 U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas. Modest security improvements were already being made, with the shatterproofing of windows and the sealing of doors, as well as the installation of steel fences, potted-plant vehicle barricades, surveillance cameras, and checkpoints in embassy lobbies. Inman's report went much further, recommending the relocation of embassies and consulates into high-walled compounds, to be built like bunker complexes in remote areas on the outskirts of towns. Equally significant, the report called for the creation of a new bureaucracy, a Diplomatic Security Service to be given responsibility for the safety of overseas personnel.

The program was approved and funded by Congress, but it got off to a slow start and had trouble gathering speed. No one joins the foreign service wanting to hunker down in bunkers overseas. The first Inman compound was completed in Mogadishu in 1989, only to be evacuated by helicopter in 1991 as angry gunmen came over the walls and slaughtered the abandoned Somali staff and their families. A half-dozen other compounds were built to better effect—at enormous cost to American taxpayers—but by the late 1990s construction was proceeding at the rate of merely one compound a year. Eager to open new facilities in the former Soviet states, the State Department began putting as much effort into avoiding the Inman standards as into complying with them.

On August 7, 1998, however, al-Qaeda drivers bombed the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing 301 people and wounding about 5,000 more. Both embassies were enlightened center-city designs, and neither had been significantly fortified. Twelve Americans lay dead, as did 39 of the U.S. government's African employees. In frustration, the Clinton administration fired cruise missiles at Sudan and Afghanistan, and back home in Washington engaged another retired admiral, William Crowe, to look into embassy defenses. In 1999, Crowe issued a scathing report, criticizing "the collective failure of the U.S. government" (read Foggy Bottom), and insisting again on the standards that had been set by Inman 14 years earlier. He demanded that safety now be placed before other concerns—whether architectural or diplomatic. The logic was clear, but the message was about means over mission. A chastised State Department vowed to take security seriously this time. When Colin Powell seized the reins in 2001, he gutted and renamed the agency's facilities office (now called Overseas Buildings Operations, or O.B.O.), and in early 2001 brought in a retired Army Corps of Engineers major general named Charles Williams to accelerate and discipline an ambitious $14 billion construction program. The main goal was to build 140 fortified compounds within 10 years. Soon afterward came the attacks of September 11, adding further urgency to the plans.

Williams is a steely but gracious man, with an affinity for elegant suits. Though he retired from the military in 1989, he still likes to be called The General. Sometimes, The Director. He has lots of medals and awards. Beneath his good manners he is obviously very proud. Among his many achievements, he won the Distinguished Flying Cross piloting combat helicopters in Vietnam, and in the early 1990s survived an even more dangerous stint running New York City's public-school construction program. He is an African-American and the chairman of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. He has been inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. He is also considered to be one of the most effective executives in the State Department today, praised in Congress for the production-line efficiency he has brought to embassy construction.

The key lies in offering a single standardized model, the New Embassy Compound, or nec, which is centered around a building with an atrium, and is available in three sizes—small, medium, and large. There are variations in the configurations, depending on the sites and needs, but most of the variations are superficial and amount to differences in the footprints, landscaping, and color schemes. Architectural critics deplore the uniformity, as if the State Department should still be showcasing brave new work—though such ideas, if ever legitimate, are now hopelessly obsolete. necs cost between $35 million and $100 million apiece. By current government standards that means they are cheap. Williams has finished 50 so far, and is churning out 14 more each year.

These embassies are the artifacts of fear. They are located away from city centers, wrapped in perimeter walls, set back from the streets, and guarded by Marines. On average they encompass 10 acres. Their reception areas are isolated frontline structures where the security checks are done. These armored chambers are designed not just to repel mobs, as in the past, but to contain individual killers and the blast from their bombs. Visitors who pass muster may be let through, but only to proceed directly to their destinations under escort, and while displaying a badge warning that the escort is required. That badge is the chain with which visitors are leashed. It can be broken by trips to the bathrooms, which however temporarily may provide some relief. The bathrooms are strangely graffiti-free, and contain no hint of the in-house commentary a visitor might wish to see. Metaphorically, the same is true of all the interiors, with their immaculate atriums and conference rooms, their artificial light, their pristine blastproof hallways hung with pre-approved art. The occupants sit at their desks hooked up to computers. They display pictures of their families on foreign holidays: skiing in the Alps last year, or swimming in Bali, or standing outside an African lodge. These are the perks of an overseas job. Meanwhile, the embassy clocks show the passage of time, spinning twice around with every duty day gone by. Is it night yet? The windows are heavy-paned slivers set high in the walls. Is it hot outside, is it cold? The natural air is filtered and conditioned before it is allowed in. People who opt for the uncertainties of the streets may get a better sense for various realities—but so what? Crowe criticized the State Department for not doing enough. The new embassies comply fully with Inman's standards.

Williams is unnecessarily defensive about this. He is offended by criticism of his necs as diplomatic bunkers, and as quite the wrong signal to send overseas. In response he points out, correctly, that these are not the brutish fortifications they might have been, and that efforts have gone into reducing the obviousness of their defenses. But then he goes as far as to call the compounds inviting—which by definition they cannot be. It would be better to answer squarely to the criticism, were he in a position to be frank. These embassies are indeed bunkers. They are politely landscaped, minimally intrusive bunkers, placed as far from view as is practical, and dependent as much on discreet technology as on sheer mass—but they are bunkers nonetheless. Those that do not contain official housing (and most do not) increasingly are linked to residential enclaves which themselves are fortified and guarded. And no, this is not how the State Department would choose to conduct itself in an ideal world.

But, again, let's be frank. The necs may be artifacts of fear, but it is an exaggeration to suggest that they teach the world that America is hostile or afraid—as if the locals were so simpleminded that they did not understand the reason for the diplomats' defenses, or were not already forming independent opinions from close observations of the United States. Those observations are rooted in trade and financial ties, immigration, tourism, television and music, the Internet, and news reports of the superpower's policies and wars—the whole organic mass of globalization that, by the way, has rendered obsolete the role of embassies in providing information of almost any kind. Indeed, the depth and sophistication of foreign views help to explain the fact that ordinary Americans are generally well accepted even where the U.S. government is despised. In any case, Williams's mandate is not to ponder the fundamentals of a changing world order. His task is practical and narrowly defined. For whatever reasons, the United States has come to the stage where it maintains 12,000 foreign-service officers at diplomatic posts abroad. There is no question that these people are targets, and no evidence that reforms in foreign policy will make them safe enough in the near future. As long as the United States insists on their presence, the State Department has no choice but to protect them. The new fortifications are not a perfect solution, particularly since there will always be the next softer target—whether American or allied. In 2003, for instance, after the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul relocated to a bunker 45 minutes from its old center-city location, Islamist terrorists bombed its former neighbors, the British Consulate and the London-based HSBC bank, apparently because they decided that the American defenses were too tough. Thirty-two people died, including Britain's consul general, Roger Short. Nonetheless and however sadly, since no American officials were among the dead, within the closed realms of the U.S. government the shift to the new consulate had succeeded. So yes, Williams is right to be proud of his work. When he is done, the State Department should add to his collection of medals.

But his clients in the embassies are in trouble. Their need for protection has limited their views at the very time when globalization has diminished their roles. Security is their requirement and their curse. I first noticed the predicament years ago, in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. This was in 1994, nearly a decade after the Inman report, and four years before al-Qaeda's attacks on Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Sudan at the time was controlled by a revolutionary Islamist regime, upon whose invitation Osama bin Laden had arrived. Perhaps 50 al-Qaeda foot soldiers were staying in my hotel, a run-down establishment where they lived several to a room, squatting late into the night in murmured conversation, without bothering to close the door. We made a wary peace, and over burners on their floors sometimes shared tea. I did not hide my curiosity. These were bearded men dressed in emulation of Muhammad, hardened jihadists who had fought in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Some spoke about their beliefs and their pasts; I did not ask about their plans.

I was in Khartoum for about a month, talking to Islamist revolutionaries and theoreticians, and between appointments walking for hours through the streets. There were hardly any non-Sudanese in sight, though occasionally I saw foreign-aid workers drive by in air-conditioned Land Cruisers, with antennas swaying on the roofs. The city was poor. The days were hot. Twice I was detained for being a spy and easily talked my way free. I never felt threatened. One day I walked to the American Embassy, hoping for special insights into the revolutionary scene.

It was one of the old embassies with improvised defenses, standing directly on a street near the city center, and vulnerable to attack. It was visibly sleepy. Inside, a good-humored Marine told me he had pulled the short straw. I met with a foreign-service officer tasked with monitoring political affairs. He was a pleasant man with detailed knowledge of Sudan's formal government but, as it turned out, very little feel for the revolution there. He did not pretend otherwise, and was surprised that I was able to stay in the city without a driver or guards. He had questions that needed to be answered—who really were these Islamists, what was their relationship with the military, how antagonistic were they to American interests, how solid was their popular base, and why had all the jihadists come to town? He was not getting good answers from Sudanese officials, or from the various schemers who showed up at the embassy seeking deals. I could not help him, either. I suggested that he walk around, make friends, hang out in the city at night. He smiled at my naïveté. Khartoum was a hardship post, where the diplomats lived restricted to the embassy and residences, and moved through the city in convoys of armored cars. The original purpose of being there had not been forgotten, but a security plan was in place, and it overwhelmed other concerns.

So too, now, with the construction of the necs and the launching of the flagship, the mega-bunker of Baghdad. A dynamic is in play, a process paradox, in which the means rise to dominance as the ends recede from view. The United States has worldwide interests, and needs the tools to pursue them, but in a wild and wired 21st century the static diplomatic embassy, a product of the distant past, is no longer of much use. To the government this does not seem to matter. Inman's new bureaucracy, the Diplomatic Security section, has blossomed into an enormous enterprise, employing more than 34,000 people worldwide and engaging thousands of private contractors—all of whom also require security. Its senior representatives sit at hundreds of diplomatic facilities, identifying real security risks and imposing new restrictions which few ambassadors would dare to overrule. Safety comes first, and it is increasingly difficult to achieve. In Baghdad the mortar fire is growing more accurate and intense. After 30 mortar shells hit the Green Zone one afternoon last July, an American diplomat reported that his colleagues were growing angry about being "recklessly exposed to danger"—as if the war should have come with warning labels.

At least the swimming pool has been placed off limits. Embassy staff are required to wear flak jackets and helmets when walking between buildings, or when occupying those that have not been fortified. On the rare occasion when they want to venture a short distance across the Green Zone to talk to Iraqi officials, they generally have to travel in armored S.U.V.'s, often protected by private security details. The ambassador, Ryan Crocker, is distributing a range of new protective gear, and is scattering the landscape with 151 concrete "duck and cover" shelters. Not to be outdone, a Senate report has recommended the installation of a teleconferencing system to "improve interaction" with Iraqis who may be in buildings only a few hundred yards away. So, O.K., the new embassy is not perfect yet, but by State Department standards it's getting there.

What on earth is going on? We have built a fortified America in the middle of a hostile city, peopled it with a thousand officials from every agency of government, and provided them with a budget to hire thousands of contractors to take up the slack. Half of this collective is involved in self-defense. The other half is so isolated from Iraq that, when it is not dispensing funds into the Iraqi ether, it is engaged in nothing more productive than sustaining itself. The isolation is necessary for safety, but again, the process paradox is at play—and not just in Iraq. Faced with the failure of an obsolete idea—the necessity of traditional embassies and all the elaboration they entail—we have not stood back to remember their purpose, but have plunged ahead with closely focused concentration to build them bigger and stronger. One day soon they may reach a state of perfection: impregnable and pointless.

Some months ago I got a call from a friend of mine, a U.S. Army general, with long experience in Iraq. He asked me my impression of the situation on the ground, and specifically of the chances that the surge of troops into Baghdad might succeed. I was pessimistic. I said, "Ten times zero is still zero. The patrols don't connect with the streets." I might as well have been speaking of embassies too. He seemed to agree, but rather than surrendering to despair, he proposed a first step in the form of a riddle.

"What do you do when you're digging yourself into a hole?"

I said, "You tell me."

He said, "You stop digging."

William Langewiesche is Vanity Fair's international correspondent.

  • Arbeit im Mega-Bunker: "Ein potentielles Todesurteil" - Thomas Pany  - TELEPOLIS - 03.11.2007

    USA: Wie mutig sollen amerikanische Diplomaten sein?  Wenn es nach dem US-Botschafter im Irak geht, dann haben Diplomaten den falschen Beruf gewählt, falls sie ihre Sicherheit vor die ihres Landes stellen und nicht im Irak arbeiten wollen. Damit bezog Ryan Crocker gestern eindeutig Stellung (1) zu einem Streitthema, welches die Diplomaten des State Department seit über einer Woche bewegt.  Die meisten Diplomaten sollen erst aus den Medien davon erfahren haben, weil sie ihre Mails übers Wochenende nicht angeschaut hatten. Vergangene Woche verbreitete sich die Nachricht dann international und die amerikanischen Foreign Service OfficersEnde Herbst soll laut einer Reportage (2) in der amerikanischen Vanity Fair der riesige Gebäudekomplex fertig gestellt sein. Das umzäunte Botschaftsgelände in der extra erweiterten grünen Zone soll die Größe des Vatikanstaates haben und 21 Gebäude umschließen. Kosten: 600 Millionen Dollar für den Bau und geschätzte 1,2 Milliarden Dollar Unterhalt pro Jahr. Es ist eine Festung mit dick betonierten Mauern, die auch Raketen und Autobomben standhalten sollen, Wachtürmen und geheimen Notausgängen, eigenen Stromgeneratoren, eigenen Wasserquellen, eigenem Telefonnetz (Virginia area code), eigenem Mobilfunknetz (New York area code), Postservice, Geschäften und Klimaanlagen mit eigener Luft, um sich vor Angriffen mit chemischen Kampfstoffen zu schützen, etc... Und 619 bombensichere Appartments, wo die diplomatischen Angestellten ein für die üblichen örtlichen Verhältnisse ungewohntes Maß an Privatheit erwartet:  Dies ist einer der großen Segnungen der neuen Botschaft, denn das könnte die sexuelle Spannung lindern, welche das Leben in der Grünen Zone den Bewohnern auferlegt. Feine Sache – die Welt wäre generell eine bessere, wenn gelten würde, dass amerikanische Offizielle mehr von ihrer Energie auf folgendes konzentrieren würde: making love.  William Langewiesche (3), Vanity Fair Und doch musste Diplomatenchef Harry K. Thomas in den E-Mails an seine Mitarbeiter mit Zwangsmaßnahmen (4) drohen, um die 48 Stellen, die in der Bagdader Sicherheits-Oase noch frei wären, zu besetzen....MEHR >>
  • Crocker Defends Iraq Embassy Decision - By BARBARA SURK -The Associated Press - Friday, November 2, 2007    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The U.S. ambassador to Iraq defended Washington's recent decision to force foreign service officers to work in the wartorn nation, saying Friday that diplomats have a responsibility to prioritize the nation's interest over their personal safety. Ambassador Ryan Crocker made it clear that diplomats who put their safety before that of the U.S. were "in the wrong line of business."    "As we try to staff the embassy in Iraq, it is good for all our colleagues to remember that we took an oath to serve our nation worldwide when we joined the foreign service, just as the military swore an oath," Crocker told reporters during a news conference in Dubai... MORE>>
  • kommen dabei nicht besonders gut weg; Spott besonders in arabischen Ländern dürfte garantiert sein: 250 Arbeitsplätze sind für den nächsten Sommer in Bagdad an Mitarbeiter des diplomatischen Dienstes zu vergeben und die Diplomaten scheuen den Dienst in der größten und teuersten Botschaft der Welt! 
  • U.S. embassy in Baghdad: A city within a city - 22/05/2007 - By Amina Anderson -  Since the fall of Baghdad in 2003, about 1,000 U.S. diplomatic and military staff have been using one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces as a make-shift embassy, a move that raised concerns that the Americans merely replaced Saddam's authoritarian rule with their own...READ MORE>>       The compound, about the size of the Vatican, is the biggest U.S. embassy            

  • New embassy in Iraq a mystery Baghdad locale, slated to be completed in 2007, to be largest of its kind -The Associated Press - Updated: 5:45 p.m. ET April 14, 2006 BAGHDAD, Iraq - The fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq’s turbulent future. The new U.S. Embassy also seems as cloaked in secrecy as the ministate in Rome. - “We can’t talk about it. Security reasons,” Roberta Rossi, a spokeswoman at the current embassy, said when asked for information about the project. A British tabloid even told readers the location was being kept secret — news that would surprise Baghdadis who for months have watched the forest of construction cranes at work across the winding Tigris, at the very center of their city and within easy mortar range of anti-U.S. forces in the capital, though fewer explode there these days. The embassy complex — 21 buildings on 104 acres, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report — is taking shape on riverside parkland in the fortified “Green Zone,” just east of al-Samoud, a former palace of Saddam Hussein’s, and across the road from the building where the ex-dictator is now on trial. The Republican Palace, where U.S. Embassy functions are temporarily housed in cubicles among the chandelier-hung rooms, is less than a mile away in the 4-square-mile zone, an enclave of American and Iraqi government offices and lodgings ringed by miles of concrete barriers. 5,500 employees at the embassy - The 5,500 Americans and Iraqis working at the embassy, almost half listed as security, are far more numerous than at any other U.S. mission worldwide. They rarely venture out into the “Red Zone,” that is, violence-torn Iraq. This huge American contingent at the center of power has drawn criticism. “The presence of a massive U.S. embassy — by far the largest in the world — co-located in the Green Zone with the Iraqi government is seen by Iraqis as an indication of who actually exercises power in their country,” the International Crisis Group, a European-based research group, said in one of its periodic reports on Iraq. State Department spokesman Justin Higgins defended the size of the embassy, old and new, saying it’s indicative of the work facing the United States here. “It’s somewhat self-evident that there’s going to be a fairly sizable commitment to Iraq by the U.S. government in all forms for several years,” he said in Washington. Higgins noted that large numbers of non-diplomats work at the mission — hundreds of military personnel and dozens of FBI agents, for example, along with representatives of the Agriculture, Commerce and other U.S. federal departments. They sleep in hundreds of trailers or “containerized” quarters scattered around the Green Zone. But next year embassy staff will move into six apartment buildings in the new complex, which has been under construction since mid-2005 with a target completion date of June 2007. Iraq’s interim government transferred the land to U.S. ownership in October 2004, under an agreement whose terms were not disclosed. “Embassy Baghdad” will dwarf new U.S. embassies elsewhere, projects that typically cover 10 acres. The embassy’s 104 acres is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the acreage of Washington’s National Mall. Estimated cost of over $1 billion - Original cost estimates ranged over $1 billion, but Congress appropriated only $592 million in the emergency Iraq budget adopted last year. Most has gone to a Kuwait builder, First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting, with the rest awarded to six contractors working on the project’s “classified” portion the actual embassy offices. Higgins declined to identify those builders, citing security reasons, but said five were American companies. The designs aren’t publicly available, but the Senate report makes clear it will be a self-sufficient and “hardened” domain, to function in the midst of Baghdad power outages, water shortages and continuing turmoil. It will have its own water wells, electricity plant and wastewater-treatment facility, “systems to allow 100 percent independence from city utilities,” says the report, the most authoritative open source on the embassy plans. Besides two major diplomatic office buildings, homes for the ambassador and his deputy, and the apartment buildings for staff, the compound will offer a swimming pool, gym, commissary, food court and American Club, all housed in a recreation building. Security, overseen by U.S. Marines, will be extraordinary: setbacks and perimeter no-go areas that will be especially deep, structures reinforced to 2.5-times the standard, and five high-security entrances, plus an emergency entrance-exit, the Senate report says. Higgins said the work, under way on all parts of the project, is more than one-third complete. © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. URL: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12319798/ MSN Privacy . Legal © 2007 MSNBC.com


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Reports on the situation of Iraqi refugees 2003-2007
(SOURCE: Iraqi International Initiative on refugees: http://3iii.org/)


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INFO -  Irak  2007

MONTHLY Updates 

  1. Israeli Doctors Treat Iraqi Patients - Israeli Doctors Screen Iraqi Heart Patients, Defying Tensions - By JAMAL HALABY - The Associated Press AMMAN, Jordan - OCTOBER 2007 . Israeli doctors screened 40 Iraqi children suffering from heart disease Tuesday a rare case of direct cooperation between the Jewish state and the Arab country. The doctors said they hoped their work would help improve relations between the two Mideast nations and ease tensions between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. Dr. Sion Houri, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, said he thought "ties and friendship" were being built through his work in Jordan with the Iraqi children. 
    "Our only previous exchanges with the Iraqis are the Scud missiles," he said, referring to the missiles Iraq, under former dictator Saddam Hussein, fired on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. "But the Iraqis we met here have been very receptive and cooperative, which makes me believe that the animosity and war aren't between the people," he said as he and two colleagues screened the Iraqi children, who ranged in age from a few months to 14 years old. Following the U.S.-led war that ousted Saddam in 2003, diplomats discussed the possibility of improved relations between Israel and Iraq, which fought two wars with the Jewish state since its foundation in 1948. 
    But in 2004, then Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi vowed that Iraq would not break Arab ranks and sign a separate peace deal with Israel. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel. The Iraqi children and their parents gathered at an outpatient clinic in the Red Crescent Hospital in the Jordanian capital, Amman. Most of the families were Sunni Muslims of Kurdish origin who live in northern Iraq. Also among them were three Sunni families who live in Baghdad. Inside the clinic, some children were lying in beds, hooked to heart monitoring machines as doctors examined them. Children played with toys in a reception area and cut paper Valentine hearts. 
    One child screened Tuesday was 4-year-old Mustafa, who Houri said was diagnosed with crossed arteries and would need two surgeries in Israel soon to unfold them before they harden. Mustafa's mother, a Kurdish woman who identified herself only as Suzanne because she feared reprisals from militants in Iraq, said traveling to Israel made her "anxious. Not because I'm going to a country considered an enemy of Iraq, but because I'm afraid of retribution by Iraqi militants, by the terrorists back home." "I'm afraid and it's not easy for me at all, but I'm willing to take the risk to save my beloved son's life," she said as she caressed Mustafa. "Israel is a good country. It's a country that has mercy on other people," she added. 
    Abu Ahmed, 36, a taxi driver from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said his 12-year-old daughter, Basita, underwent a successful surgery in Israel last year. "The Israeli doctors, bless their hearts, stitched a notch in her heart," he said. "They told me today that she recovered completely, and I'm grateful to them and their country for helping us out." "They (Israelis) are not our enemies," he said. "They helped me a lot and didn't make me feel like they were enemies. Many Muslims have a wrong idea about Israelis." The heart program is sponsored by Save a Child's Heart, a humanitarian organization founded in Israel in 1996. Logistical support is provided by the Jerusalem-based Christian group, Shevet Achim. 
    Surgery is carried out at Israel's Wolfson Medical Center, and funding comes from private sources, including Christian charity groups and individuals. In four years, 35 Iraqis have received surgery through the program, including 18 children who traveled from Iraq to Jordan for screening in January. It was not immediately clear how many of the children screened Tuesday would be taken to Israel for treatment. But Dr. Akiva Tamir, a pediatric cardiologist at Wolfson, said he screened at least four children Tuesday who were too sick to be treated. Save A Child's Heart provides heart surgery for children from developing nations regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion. It has treated more than 1,700 children from 28 countries, including Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Moldova, Vietnam and China. The group said nearly half the children it has treated were Arabs, including Palestinians, Jordanians and Iraqis. 
    Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

  2. Americans angry about cost of Iraq war - Mon, 24 Sep 2007 - Source: Reuters via PressTVUS cost of war is mispredicted. Americans have begun to focus on the cost of Iraq war, saying it could be spent to improve ailing US education, healthcare and infrastructure. With the number of U.S. troops in Iraq now at a record high -168,000, during an eight-hour working day, US tax dollars spent in the battle zones of Iraq total USD 112 million. Reuters reported.These figures are extrapolated from a report by the Congressional Research Service (CSR), a bipartisan agency which provides research and analysis for the US Congress. It put the war's average cost in 2007 at around USD 10 billion a month.That translates into $333 million a day, $14 million an hour, $231,000 a minute and $3,850 a second. Even for the world's richest country, this is serious money. Aftermath of the US invasion, around 2 million Iraqis fled to neighboring countries, mostly to Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Another 2.2 million fled from their homes and sought refuge elsewhere in Iraq and live in grim conditions.To overcome Iraqi refugees disaster, the USD 79 million shortfall for refugee crisis would be covered by less than six hours of war spending, Reuters added. US opponents of the war have begun to focus on its high cost and stress what could be done with the dollars spent in Iraq -- improving American education and healthcare and fixing ageing US infrastructure. 

  3. Reports Basra suffers from  environmental pollution
  4. Petraeus upbeat over reducing US troop levels - Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington - Monday September 10, 2007Guardian Unlimited - Bush administration's top officials in Iraq tell Congress that the president's new war strategy has brought political and military gains.

  5. Securing, Stabilizing, and Rebuilding Iraq: Iraqi Government Has Not Met Most Legislative, Security, and Economic BenchmarksGAO-07-1195  September 4, 2007 - Highlights Page (PDF)   Full Report (PDF, 92 pages)  Public Law 110-28 requires GAO to report to Congress by September 1, 2007, on whether or not the government of Iraq has met 18 benchmarks contained in the Act, and the status of the achievement of these benchmarks. The benchmarks stem from commitments first articulated by the Iraqi government in June 2006. In comparison, the Act requires the administration to report in July and September 2007 on whether satisfactory progress is being made toward meeting the benchmarks, not whether the benchmarks have been met. To complete our work, we reviewed government documents and interviewed officials from U.S. agencies; the UN; and the government of Iraq. We also made multiple visits to Iraq during 2006 and 2007. Our analyses were enhanced by approximately 100 Iraq-related audits we have completed since May 2003. The January 2007 U.S. strategy seeks to provide the Iraqi government with the time and space needed to help Iraqi society reconcile. Our analysis of the 18 legislative, security and economic benchmarks shows that as of August 30, 2007, the Iraqi government met 3, partially met 4, and did not meet 11 of its 18 benchmarks. Overall, key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds. These results do not diminish the courageous efforts of coalition forces. The Iraqi government has met one of eight legislative benchmarks: the rights of minority political parties in Iraq's legislature are protected. The government also partially met one other benchmark to enact and implement legislation on the formation of regions; this law was enacted in October 2006 but will not be implemented until April 2008. Six other legislative benchmarks have not been met. Specifically, a review committee has not completed work on important revisions to Iraq's constitution. Further, the government has not enacted legislation on de-Ba'athification, oil revenue sharing, provincial elections, amnesty, or militia disarmament. The Administration's July 2007 report cited progress in achieving some of these benchmarks but provided little information on what step in the legislative process each benchmark had reached. Two of nine security benchmarks have been met. Specifically, Iraq's government has established various committees in support of the Baghdad security plan and established almost all of the planned Joint Security Stations in Baghdad. The government has partially met the benchmarks of providing three trained and ready brigades for Baghdad operations and eliminating safe havens for outlawed groups. Five other benchmarks have not been met. The government has not eliminated militia control of local security, eliminated political intervention in military operations, ensured even-handed enforcement of the law, increased army units capable of independent operations, or ensured that political authorities made no false accusations against security forces. It is unclear whether sectarian violence in Iraq has decreased--a key security benchmark--since it is difficult to measure the perpetrator's intent and other measures of population security show differing trends. Finally, the Iraqi government has partially met the economic benchmark of allocating and spending $10 billion on reconstruction. Preliminary data indicates that about $1.5 billion of central ministry funds had been spent, as of July 15, 2007. As the Congress considers the way forward in Iraq, it must balance the achievement of the 18 Iraqi benchmarks with the military progress, homeland security, foreign policy, and other goals of the United States. Future administration reporting to assist the Congress would be enhanced with adoption of the recommendations we make in this report. Highlights Page (PDF)   Full Report (PDF, 92 pages).

  6. ACLU Says Executive Order "Material Support" Provision Sweeps Too Broadly and Will Restrict Humanitarian Efforts in Iraq
    a little noticed presidential Executive Order recently issued by the White House. Although the order is ostensibly aimed at supporters of the insurgency in Iraq, the civil liberties group warned that its sweeping provisions posed risks for residents of the United States and for humanitarian work in Iraq. 

  7. Podcast: First-Hand Accounts of Wartime Civilian Deaths (7/27/2007)- NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today issued a warning about

  8. Plan Iraq - Permanent Occupation - by Stephen Lendman - July 2007: "Congress is back from its July 4 break and with it more bluster and political posturing on changing course to keep things the same, including everything not working in place. It’s the same old scheme, back again, to fool enough of the people all the time and most all of them long enough to move on to the next change of course mission shift starting the whole cycle over again. Even the blind can see the hopelessness of staying the course in Iraq. Aside from its lawlessness and immorality, pushing on with a failed effort qualifies as a classic definition of insanity - continuing the same failed policies, expecting different results. The only sensible, honorable option is a full, speedy withdrawal along with providing multi-billions for Iraqis to rebuild what we destroyed and have no intention restoring now or ever beyond what’s needed for permanent occupation. The only other honorable option is owning up to what no one in Washington or the major media will do - that the Iraq and Afghan conflicts are illegal wars of aggression making those responsible for them in the administration and Congress war criminals warranting prosecution for their crimes..." READ MORE...>> http://dissidentnews.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/video-us-veterans-and-depleted-uranium-du/

  9. VIDEO: US Veterans and Depleted Uranium (DU) - July 22nd, 2007, Gerard Matthew, New York National Guard served in Iraq in 2003. Transcript of the CNN TV-Program “Good Morning, America” “Inhaling Depleted Uranium made him sick”: http://dissidentnews.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/video-us-veterans-and-depleted-uranium-du/

  10. Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness - US Army Training Video -  "Between October and December 1995, the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium (DU) Project completed a series of training videos and manuals about depleted uranium munitions. This training regimen was developed as the result of recommendations made in the January 1993 General Accounting Office (GAO) report, "Army Not Adequately Prepared to Deal with Depleted Uranium Contamination."  The training materials were intended to instruct servicemen and women about the use and hazards of depleted uranium munitions. In addition, the training regimen included instructions for soldiers who repair and recover vehicles contaminated by depleted uranium. Throughout 1996, these videos sat on a shelf, while U.S. soldiers continued to use and work with depleted uranium munitions. In June 1997, Bernard Rostker, The Department of Defense (DoD) principle spokesperson for their investigation of Gulf War hazardous exposures, stated that the depleted uranium safety training program would begin to be shared by a limited number of servicemen and women in July 1997. STILL TODAY the vast majority of servicemen and women in the U.S. military, and likely in the armed forces of other countries which are developing or have obtained depleted uranium munitions, are unaware of the use and dangers of depleted uranium munitions, or of the protective clothing and procedures which can minimize or prevent serious short-term exposures.

  11. The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness - By Chris Hedges & Laila Al-Arian - 12 July, 2007 - The Nation     "Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts. Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported–and almost always go unpunished..."

  12. A controversial new Middle East oil law could lead to the “disintegration” of Iraq as a nation state. Two of the region’s most respected commentators, including the co-author of the new Iraq Oil Law and a former oil minister, have each expressed their “gravest concern” at what they believe could happen within their country if the law is approved in its current form. In the hard hitting documentary Iraq: Mixing Oil & Blood  - wich is presented by Samah El-Shaha -  former oil minister Isam Al-Chalabi, says the Oil Law is “ambiguous and unclear.”  (9 March 2007) 

  13. RAI video Use of Napalm by the US Army in Fallujah (November 2005) 

  14. Spanischer Richter fordert, die Verantwortlichen der Irakinvasion wegen Kriegsverbrechen anzuklagen. Von Vicky Short (18. April 2007) aus dem Englischen (Spanish Judge calls for architects of Iraq invasion to be tried for war crimes)  (27. März 2007) - Original Text also avialable at: http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=14609

  15. Confessions of a Torturer:The story of U.S. Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis. (14 March  2007) + Are we experiencing the last days of Constitutional rule? (March 18th, 2007). By Paul Craig Roberts

  16. German court declares Iraq war violated international law. By Justus Leicht (27 September 2005)  "Just a few weeks ago, a highly significant judicial decision was handed down by the German Federal Administrative Court but barely mentioned in the German media. With careful reasoning, the judges ruled that the assault launched by the United States and its allies against Iraq was a clear war of aggression that violated international law..."  - A Reminder 

  17. Four Years of War in Iraq. (18 March 2007) 

  18. The betrayal of British fighting men & women. The son of a military family Pte Johnathon Dany Wysoczan. The Independent. By Terri Judd, Sophie Goodchild,  Andrew Johnson, Lauren Veevers and Kim Sengupta. (11 March 2007) 

  19. Blair is called to account over abandoned troops. The Independent. By Terri Judd, Sophie Goodchild and Andrew Johnson (11 March 2007) 

  20. Global Realignment and the Decline of the Superpower. By Mike Whitney (9 March 2007.) 

  21. Heading for the exit | Iraq | Guardian Unlimited. 1 March 2007. "The announcement that the US will participate in talks with Iran and Syria on the future of Iraq came as something of a surprise. U-turn was the phrase that came to mind, even to those versed in the history of the Pentagon's policy lurches. But today's Guardian report may explain why US diplomats are preparing to sit down with the representatives of two regimes that they have hitherto accused of destabilising Iraq. A group of officers advising General David Petraeus, the warrior-scholar sent in to quell the insurgency in Baghdad and Anbar province, has concluded that US forces have six months to win the war; otherwise it faces the prospect of defeat and withdrawal.

  22. This was always a needless, immoral war. Yet still they won't admit it.  Guardian Unlimited. 26 February 2007 "The invasion of Iraq was foolish, illegal and finally catastrophic. The only people who seem not to know this are our rulers."

  23. Impeach07- For Immediate Release: February 22, 2007 : A growing network of organizations and individuals has launched a new campaign to pursue the immediate impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney through widespread public protest, creative dissent, media activism, education, and coordinated lobbying. Members of the Impeach07 campaign believe that Bush and Cheney have committed high crimes and misdemeanors, including - among many others - misleading the nation into an aggressive war, spying in open violation of the law, and sanctioning the use of torture. The campaign is demanding that Congress Members hold Cheney and Bush accountable through the Constitutional remedy of impeachment." See also: Impeach the President - The Case Against Bush and Cheney, Seven Stories Press

  24. AlterNet: Assassinations, Terrorist Strikes and Ethnic Cleansing: Bush's Shadow War in Iraq. 15 February 2007. "The constant sectarian violence in Iraq is not purely of domestic origin -- much of it is directed by covert U.S. and British military: Here is Bush's other war in Iraq."

  25. TOP SECRET POLO STEP - Iraq War Plan Assumed Only 5,000 U.S. Troops Still There by December 2006 - Washington D.C., February 14, 2007 - The U.S. Central Command's war plan for invading Iraq postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006, according to the Command's PowerPoint briefing slides, which were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and are posted on the Web by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).

  26. "We're Taking Down Seven Countries in Five Years": A Regime Change Checklist by Gary Leupp. By Gary Leupp. 17 January 2007

  27. George Bushs neue Irak-Strategie, 28.01.2007 (Friedensratschlag)

  28. Bushs Rede zur Lage der Nation 2007, 25.01.2007 (Friedensratschlag)

  29. Bush will Kurs im Irak ändern, 17.01.2007 (Friedensratschlag) - Neue Strategie für den Irak: Rede des Präsidenten, Washington, 10. Januar 2007 + President's Address to the Nation, 11.01.2007 (Friedensratschlag)


- - - -


INFO -  Irak  2003 - 2006

  1. The Iraq Study Group Report (Dec. 6, 2006)
    The 10-member Iraq Study Group, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman      Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.),  released its report on Dec. 6, 2006, recommending "new and enhanced diplomatic and    political efforts ...and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces." Full Report: Text|Appendices|Excerpts
  2. The Story Behind The Iraq Study Group: By Lyndsey Layton - Washington Post - November 21, 2006; Page A25 - "We were up in Tikrit and went to a hospital, and it was guarded with guns and security to the point they were pushing weapons into women's faces," Wolf said. "I saw we can't be successful if we're going into an operating room with pistols and weapons."
  3. Saddam Hussein's Death Sentence 
  4. The Center for Constitutional Rights: The Case against Donald Rummsfeld: CASE DOCUMENTS  - Introduction- German Complaint-2006 + Table of Contents-German Complaint-2006 - War crimes complaint against Rumsfeld et.al.
  5. Wissenschaftler stellen neue Studie vor: Mehr als 650000 Iraker infolge von Krieg und Besatzung gestorben. Von Rüdiger Göbel und Joachim Guilliard. (13.10.2006) + Der Report zur Studie im renommierten britischen medizinischen Fachmagazin, The Lancet v. 13.10.2006: Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey + Die Studie selbst: Gilbert Burnham, Shannon Doocy, Elizabeth Dzeng, Riyadh Lafta, Les Roberts
  6. The Human Cost of the War in Iraq 2002-2006 sowie die Anhänge: Appendices
  7. German court declares Iraq war violated international law. By Justus Leicht (27 September 2005)  "Just a few weeks ago, a highly significant judicial decision was handed down by the German Federal Administrative Court but barely mentioned in the German media. With careful reasoning, the judges ruled that the assault launched by the United States and its allies against Iraq was a clear war of aggression that violated international law..."
  8. Attorney General: "Full-Text of British Attorney General's legal advice an Tony Blair über die Rechtmäßigkeit des Irakkrieges, datiert mit 7. März 2003." Das vollständige Dokument ist hierabrufbar. Lesen Sie dazu auch die am 27. April 2005 im Guardian veröffentlichte rechtliche Analyse, verfasst von Anthony Lester QC, prominenter Menschenrechts-Anwalt in Großbritannien. Die Analyse ist hierabrufbar.
  9. Secret US plans for Iraq's oil. BBC NEWS  17 March 2005
  10. Special Forces May Train Assassins, Kidnappers in Iraq - The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq - WEB EXCLUSIVE - By Michael Hirsh and John Barry - Newsweek - Jan. 14, 2005 -  What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out.
    Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s.READ MORE>>
  11. List of killed, threatened or kidnapped Iraqi Academics  + Link to this list: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/academicsList.htm   (Important notice: when copying or referring to this list, please always mention the source.)
  12. Link to a list of 76 threatened Iraqi academics, in Arabic, compiled by the Association of University Lecturers [PDF]
  13. Approximately 300 academics have been killed - By Charles Crain, special for USA TODAY - Posted 1/17/2005 BAGHDAD — Isam al-Rawi, who marks down the dead in a datebook, can read back the details: a scientist killed on Dec. 21; the assistant dean of Baghdad's medical college killed on Christmas Day; a professor in Mosul killed on Dec. 26.
    Many academics like Dr. Isam al-Rawi believe the insurgent attacks will continue well after the elections.

    Al-Rawi, a geologist at Baghdad University and head of the Association of University Lecturers, says about 300 academics and university administrators have been assassinated in a mysterious wave of murders since the American occupation of Iraq began in 2003. About 2,000 others, he says, have fled the country in fear for their lives. American and Iraqi officials say elections Jan. 30 will be one step toward ending the insurgency raging here. But scientists and academics have been under siege for more than a year and a half, and they fear the threat against them will continue. Doctors, scientists and academics — the educated elite who would be the foundation of a healthy economy and democratic society — continue to leave Iraq. The attacks have caught the attention of the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces, but professors and university administrators say little progress has been made toward halting assassinations. At the Ministry of Education, Abdul Rahman Hamid al-Husseini documents cases of murdered and intimidated academics. His numbers are far lower than al-Rawi's: 20 professors killed, more than 100 forced to flee. The precise number is impossible to pin down; al-Husseini's list omits victims confirmed dead by al-Rawi; al-Rawi includes people who do not work in academic fields, such as Ph.D.s working in government ministries. 
    Al-Husseini has met with American and Iraqi officials to discuss the problem and search for ways to end the campaign against academics. But with Iraqi security forces themselves the target of a bloody insurgency, law enforcement authorities have been at a loss to explain the assassinations of Iraqi academics. "We don't have a specific answer," al-Husseini says. "We don't know who's behind it." The police "cannot protect themselves, so how can they protect us?" asks Khalid Joudi, the president of Baghdad's Al-Nahrain University. Promises that elections will bring relief ring hollow; Joudi remembers the hope he and his colleagues placed in the Iraqi interim government appointed in the spring. "We were hoping with this government that things would improve, and they've gotten much worse," Joudi says. Joudi says Iraq is already suffering an exodus of engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians. In a country with distinct political, ethnic and religious fault lines, the university killings seem to follow no pattern. The dead have been Shiites and Sunnis, Kurds and Arabs, and supporters of various political parties. "They have a common thing: they are Iraqis," al-Rawi says. Joudi says the motives for the attacks are varied — from score settling to terrorist attacks designed to weaken civil society. "Some of it may be personal," he says. "Just personal envy and hatred." Extortion is another motive, al-Husseini says. Criminal gangs have kidnapped academics and other wealthy Iraqis for ransom and have threatened others. But, he says, some of the killings are designed to weaken Iraq by forcing its scientists and academics out of the country. "There is a kind of campaign to make physicians leave the country," al-Husseini says, rattling off a list of medical specialties that are now understaffed in Iraq. "We think it's politically motivated," al-Husseini says of the murder campaign. "Just to create a frustrating and disappointing situation among Iraqi college teachers and university lecturers." The loss of some of Iraq's best minds has had an impact far out of proportion to the number actually killed or sent into exile, al-Husseini says, by depriving the country of its sharpest thinkers. "Not because of the number of lecturers (killed)," al-Husseini says, "but because of their quality." The persistence of the attacks has been a roadblock to the emergence of an open atmosphere on Iraqi campuses. Armed guards search visitors at Baghdad University's entrance. Professors and administrators must choose whether to work and travel with additional protection. Al-Rawi has chosen to forego such precautions, despite the risks. "I deal with other human beings in a very normal way," al-Rawi says. "I can't deal with them normally if I'm carrying a pistol, or if I have guards behind me." But Joudi, who has received death threats against himself and his staff, travels to and from his office with armed bodyguards. Iraqi intellectuals see few signs the insurgency will end with elections scheduled for Jan. 30. "The same forces will still be operating in Iraq, I think, after the elections," Joudi says.

  14. Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein February 25, 2003
  15. Der schmutzige Krieg gegen die Zukunft Iraks. Von Joachim Guillard (Nov. 2006)
  16. UNDP-Studie: Lebensbedingungen im Irak haben sich verschlechtert. Die UN-Studie "Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004" fällt ein vernichtendes Urteil.
  17. Patente statt Bomben - USA veranlassen Gesetz zur Kontrolle von Saatgut und Ernte im Irak. Von Andreas Bauer*. * Aus der Mitgliederzeitschrift des Umweltinstituts München e.V.: "Umweltnachrichten", Ausgabe 101/Mai 2005; im Internet: www.umweltinstitut.org
  18. Irak: Ärzte warnen vor zunehmenden Missbildungen bei Neugeborenen Abgereichertes Uran als Hauptursache ausgemacht
  19. Juristisches Kurzgutachten: Deutschland muss die Strafanzeige gegen Donald Rumsfeld behandeln. Prof. Dr. Michael Bothe und Dr. Andreas Fischer-Lescano: "Die Regeln des Völkerrechts sind von deutschen Gerichten in jeder Phase eines Strafverfahrens zu beachten" (Der Text mit Fußnoten ist hier abgelegt: http://www.jura.uni-frankfurt.de/ifawz1/teubner/dokumente/RumsfeldKurzgutachten.pdf)

INFO -  Irak  2002 

  1. Bush Planned Iraq 'Regime Change' Before Becoming President. http://static.uni-graz.at/fileadmin/_Persoenliche_Webseite/schmidt_yvonne/archiv/IRAK.html#INFO_-_Irak_2002By Neil Mackay - 15 September 2002: A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001. The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC). READ MORE>>


Selected Iraq - SC - Resolutions + UN Documents

  1. Findlaw Legal News - Special Coverage: War in Iraq: Documents, Resolutions, and Reports
  2. Sämtliche Sicherheitsrats (SR) Resolutionen zum Irak in deutscher Sprache
  3. Sonstige Beschlüsse des Sicherheitsrats (SR) zum Irak in deutscher Sprache
  4. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  1. Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949. [Introduction][Full Text][Articles][Commentaries][State parties - 194]
  2. Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949. [Introduction][Full Text][Articles][Commentaries][State parties - 194]
  3. Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949. [Introduction][Full Text][Articles][Commentaries][State parties - 194]
  4. Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949. [Introduction][Full Text][Articles][Commentaries][State parties - 194]

International Organizations

  1. United Nations Centre - News Focus - Iraq
  2. UNAMI - UN Assistance Mission in Iraq: Web Portal for UN Agencies Working in Iraq
  3. IRFFI - International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq - The International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq(IRFFI) was launched early in 2004 by the United Nations and the World Bank to help donor nations channel their resources and coordinate their support for reconstruction and development in Iraq. So far 26 donors have pledged over $1.4 billion to the Trust Fund Facility to ensure responsive financing for near-term (2004) and medium-term (2005–07) priority investments in the country.The Facility has two trust funds for donor contributions, each with its own characteristics and procedures: 
  4. World Bank Iraq Trust Fund
  5. United Nations Development Group (UNDG) Iraq Trust Fund -  is administered by the United Nations Development Programme on behalf of itself and Participating United Nations Organizations. This is the first time that the  UN is administering a multi-donor reconstruction trust fund in a joint partnership with the World Bank. This is also the first time that the UNDG organizations, pursuant to the Secretary General’s reform agenda, have adopted common planning, funding, coordinated implementation and reporting arrangements for such a large scale operation, which is referred to as the “UN Cluster approach”. Most importantly, this arrangement assists key Iraqi ministries such as the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation to work with UNDG as one entity, facilitating coordinated, collaborative joint programming.
  6. IRI -  Iraqis Rebuilding Iraq Programme Links: "The IRI programme aims to counter the exodus of Iraq's specialists and subsequent "brain drain" by tapping on the know-how of expatriate nationals and facilitates the skills transfers through relatively short, low-cost assignments based on the spirit of volunteerism. It is a unique form of technical assistance that builds on the cultural affinity of expatriates to their country of origin with an emphasise on the concept of volunteerism. The approach is based on the conviction - supported by empirical evidence - that qualified national expatriates are often better positioned than foreign consultants by reason of their language, cultural affinity and familiarity with local conditions to provide technical support; and that many expatriates are eager to render short-term service to their home countries on a volunteer basis. Different from typically foreign traditional technical assistance, the IRI experts are national expatriates.  Proficiency in the language, strong motivation to serve the home country and demonstrated success in their profession, all contribute to produce significant progress. This form of technical assistance is also believed to help promote solidarity among Iraqis in support of peace and development in a unique way.
  7. UN Office of the Iraq Program - Oil-for-Food
  8. United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) - was created in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council. Its mandate is to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damage suffered as a direct result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
  9. Compensation is payable to successful claimants from a special fund that receives a percentage of the proceeds from sales of Iraqi oil. The Security Council established Iraq's legal responsibility for such losses in its resolution 687 of 3 April 1991:  "Iraq...is liable under international law for any direct loss, damage, including environmental damage and the depletion of natural resources, or injury to foreign Governments, nationals and corporations, as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait". Resolution 687 (1991) was adopted five weeks after the suspension of the Allied Coalition forces' operations against Iraq. It was adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, which concerns action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression. A formal cease-fire between Iraq and the Allied Coalition forces was made dependent upon Iraq's acceptance of all of the provisions of the resolution.
  10. The EU's relations with Iraq - Overview

NGOs + Universities + Other Sources

  1. Human Rights Watch Background on War in Iraq
  2. International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative- Monitoring IHL in Iraq
  3. International Committee of the Red Cross-Special Section: War in Iraq
  4. International War Crimes and Violations of the Rule of Law
  5. Grotian Moment Blog -  key documents related to the Iraqi High Tribunal + Full coverage: Saddam Hussein
  6. George Washington University - National Security Archive: The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook - Declassified Secrets from the U.S.-Iraq Relationship (The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals. On March 17, 2000, Long Island University named the National Security Archive as winner of a Special George Polk Award for 1999 for "piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy" and "serving as an essential journalistic resource.")
  7. International Federation of Journalists
  8. Irak (Friedensratschlag der Universität Kassel) + Irak, Chronik des Krieges (Friedensratschlag)
  9. ITI - Internationales Tribunal über den Irak-Krieg + News-Archiv


  1. Aljazeera - English Website
  2. Angry Arab News Service  
  3. Baghdad Burning
  4. BBC
  5. Electronic Iraq is a news portal committed to providing a uniquely comprehensive look at Iraq and the violence that has engulfed it. eIraq was launched in February 2003 to provide a humanitarian perspective on the looming conflict in Iraq. The site quickly became a respected and vital resource unparalleled in its track record of providing news and analysis with a fresh and unique focus on the experiences of the Iraqi people enduring the daily tragedy and chaos of war.
  6. Guardian
  7. Informed Comment -  Website by Pof. Juan Cole (President of the Global Americana Institute)
  8. Iraq Body Count
  9. Iraq Updates (IU) Ltd  - extensive current coverage of the political, financial and commercial situation in Iraq
  10. Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches - In late 2003, Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.
  11. Voices in the Wilderness (VitW) - was formed in 1996 to nonviolently challenge the economic warfare being waged by the US against the people of Iraq. Voices continues its work today, acting to end the US occupation of Iraq. The Voices in the Wilderness website is no longer maintained. VitW.org will be available indefinately for archival and research purposes.
  12. Inamo - Informationsprojekt Naher und Mittlerer Osten e.V. 


  1. Hans-C. Graf Sponeck, Ein anderer Krieg - Das Sanktionsregime der UNO im Irak.  Aus dem Englischen von Michael Bayer. 365 Seiten.  ISBN 978-3-936096-56-9. Bestellung (ONLine...) +   POST/FAX...


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