Friday, November 18, 2005


Bring ‘em on: Major explosion shakes central Baghdad from two suicide car bombers. At least six dead, over 40 injured. (Casualty figures expected to rise, per BBC.)

Bring ‘em on: Air Force Fighters Strike Insurgents - Air Force F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons and MQ-1 Predators flew air strikes against anti-Iraqi forces near the Iraq-Syria border in support of Operation Steel Curtain.

Bring ‘em on: Three Danish soldiers injured by bomb inside their camp in Basra.

Bring ‘em on: Iraqi security forces arrest 24 militants and free three children hostages in separate missions in Baghdad.

Bring ‘em on: Former Iraqi MP kidnapped in Baghdad

Bring ‘em on: Two Filipino workers killed in bombing in Baghdad last Friday.

Bring ‘em on: Doctor gunned down by unknown gunmen in Mosul. A police officer and two policemen were killed in al Hadbaa neighborhood of Mosul. Two more policemen gunned down in southern suburb of Mosul. Two police killed in another area of Mosul, and a gunfight between MNF and insurgents happened in Al Wahda district. Child died in bomb blast that targeted police. Three children killed by two bombs targeting MNF. Body of man abducted earlier in the day was found, and another unknown person was found dead in his car in Mosul. In Baghdad, eight Iraqis wounded by bomb blast.

Bring ‘em on: BAGHDAD - A motorist was badly injured when his car was hit by a roadside bomb intended for a passing U.S. tank. KERBALA - A former member of the outlawed Baath Party was assassinated by gunmen in Kerbala. His son was wounded in the incident. RAMADI - Iraqi police found the bodies of police Lieutenant Colonel Sulaiman al-Dulaimi and his son on Thursday after they were abducted a day earlier. Both had gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

Bring ‘em on: Soldier Killed in Vehicle Accident

Bring ‘em on: US Marine Killed by IED in Hadithah

Bring ‘em on: US Soldier dies of wounds from IED attack in northwest Baghdad.

Bring ‘em on: US Soldier killed by multiple gunshot wounds in Baqubah, Iraq.

Bring ‘em on: 3,000 Foreign Fighters in Iraq: Intelligence Study (This study does not count American, British, or other coalition forces as foreign fighters.)

Bring ‘em on: Former Serb Red Berets in Iraq – (Also not included in “foreign fighters” totals.) Former Serbian "Red Berets" elites forces are now being employed as private security personnel in Baghdad. Vecernje Novosti daily said the men were recruited through a security agency in Sarajevo in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbians join an increasing number of foreign former military personnel supplementing coalition forces in Iraq. Some media estimates put the number of private security personnel as high as 40,000.


INSIDE IRAQ: Iraq Minister Says Torture Claims “Exaggerated” Iraq's Interior Minister Bayan Baqer Solagh, under fire over allegations prisoners were beaten, tortured and starved at a Baghdad bunker, has described the claims as "exaggerated". The lock-up, raided on Sunday by US forces who found some 170 detainees in need of water, food and medical attention, was an official detention centre which held some of the "most dangerous terrorists," he told a news conference on Thursday.

INSIDE IRAQ: Investigation of Iraqi-run Detention Sites Grows – US and civilians to investigate claim of starvation and torture at camps across the country. There are at least 1,100 sites across the country.

INSIDE IRAQ: Sunnis Demand UN Inquiry into Iraq Ministry’s Torture Chamber - Leading Sunni politicians in Iraq have demanded an international inquiry following the discovery that 173 people had been tortured and held captive in an interior ministry bunker. They claim such abuse was regularly carried out by paramilitaries connected to the government and accuse US forces of giving it "the green light". The call for an independent inquiry was backed by the United Nations' special investigator on torture. But the Badr Organisation, a Shia militia suspected of responsibility for the mistreatment of the mainly Sunni prisoners, has denied any involvement. The organisation also said that a raid by American forces on the underground complex in central Baghdad which led to the prisoners being found was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and an attempt to gain favour with Sunnis ahead of the national elections. Hundreds of bodies, often with signs of torture, have been discovered in Iraq, thought to be the victims of "death squads" of paramilitaries associated with the government. Earlier this year, a Human Rights Watch report accused the Iraqi security forces of widespread abuse.

INSIDE IRAQ: Discovery of Prisoners Heartens Iraq’s Sunni Minority - Mohammed sat in a coffee shop Wednesday in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhemiya in northeast Baghdad, where men played cards and dominoes and smoked water pipes. And he smiled. Now people know the truth, he said. Like Mohammed, much of the Sunni Arab minority has taken heart in the recent discovery, which was announced Tuesday. The idea that the U.S. military may be trying to help the Sunnis has given them an instant boost in confidence that the parliamentary elections in December could make them players in the next government.

INSIDE IRAQ: Kurds See Democracy As Means to Gain Independent State: In Iraq, Freedom to Secede? "We want to thank President Bush for making this possible," said Miriam Mirza, an 80-year-old Kurdish woman who carried the Kurdish flag into the voting booth Oct. 15 when she supported a draft constitution granting broad powers of self-government to the Kurds. She said the vote takes the Kurds "one step closer" to independence. "My vote is for my nation – my Kurdish nation," said Magid Karim Ahmed, a peasant farmer, after he cast his ballot. In January, when Iraqis held their first democratic election in six decades to elect a constitutional assembly, Mr. Hamagharib's group set up separate, unofficial voting booths outside polling stations throughout northern Iraq. On the ballot was one question: Do you choose to remain with Iraq or not? Out of 1.85 million people who voted, more than 95 percent said they did not want to remain, Mr. Hamagharib said.

INSIDE IRAQ: US To Iraq: Curb Use of Shiite Militias - Prominent Sunni Arabs have complained for months about abuse by Interior Ministry forces, whom they say have been infiltrated by Shiite militias. The Sunnis called for an international inquiry after the detainees were found at the lockup in Jadriyah. The government denies the militia allegations. In a nationally televised press conference, Jabr, the interior minister, delivered a spirited defense of his agency and said the detainees included Shiites and Sunnis some among the most "dangerous terrorists" in the country.

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Incendiary Weapons: The Big White Lie - The Iraqi government is to investigate the United States military's use of white phosphorus shells during the battle of Fallujah - an inquiry that could reveal whether American forces breached a fundamental international weapons treaty. Iraq's acting Human Rights minister, Narmin Othman, said last night that a team would be dispatched to Fallujah to try to ascertain conclusively whether civilians had been killed or injured by the incendiary weapon. The use of white phosphorus (WP) and other incendiary weapons such as napalm against civilians is prohibited.

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Civilians Continue to Suffer From Violence, Displacement - Hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed in September and October, while large parts of Iraq continue to experience a general breakdown of law and order, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) noted in its latest report on the state of human rights in the war-ravaged nation. "Random killings and terrorism have claimed hundreds of lives and injured many others, including children, in several parts of the country," the report stated. According to UNAMI, over 30,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the US-led war in March 2003. The report, which focused primarily on the period between 1 September and 31 October of this year, noted that more than 10,000 civilians had been displaced in September alone. On Monday, US-led forces and the Iraqi army launched an operation in the city of Dowr, some 150 km north of the capital, Baghdad. According to local witnesses, Iraqi soldiers used torture in some cases to obtain information from residents. The UNAMI report noted that, "Massive security operations by the Iraqi police and US Special Forces continue to disregard instructions announced in August 2005 by the Interior Ministry aimed at safeguarding individuals during search-and-detention operations."

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Photos Of the US Offensive in North-western Iraq - The Guardian's photographer Sean Smith is in north-western Iraq, travelling with a company of US marines as they try to combat insurgents in the region. So far, operation steel curtain has taken him to Karabilah, Husaybah and Ubaydi. One photo: Iraqis from Husaybah, near the Syrian border, protest outside Camp Gannon, the marines' base. They want food, water and electricity. The Iraqis wrote the signs in English.

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Displaced (Iraqis) in The West Need More - The number of refugees fleeing the western Iraqi town of al-Qaim and surrounding villages in the wake of US-led military offensives launched earlier this month has reached some 100,000 persons, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS). "The situation is critical," said IRCS Spokesperson Ferdous al-Abadi. According to witnesses on the ground, nearly 40 percent of the residents of al-Qaim, located some 420 km west of the capital Baghdad, are living in the nearby city of Rawa, in improvised camps organised by the IRCS. Many are also reportedly living in schools and public offices. According to IRCS officials, some displaced families have as many as 13 members sharing single tents. (insert link to video on Fallujah) "Food, kerosene stoves, blankets, antibiotics and first-aid kits are only some of the items desperately needed by more than 2,000 displaced families in the area," he said.

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Iraqi Children Losing Their Innocence in the Violence of the War. - Khaldoon Waleed, a Baghdad child psychologist, said that a generation of children is growing up with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, a result of witnessing life-threatening events, is commonly associated with soldiers, and Waleed said it could cause everything from nightmares to an inability to connect with people. "The children of Iraq have lost all sense of humanity," he said. "Killing and being killed has become daily routine to them." He said their young lives are overloaded with the violent issues of Iraq. Parents find it impossible to hide the harsh realities from them, so children are forced into adult life. And it's a harsh adult life.

THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: They Said, You Are a Terrorist Who Kills Shia. Then They Broke My Teeth. A force from the interior ministry commandos raided my house. My four children woke up screaming. They said, 'You are wanted for terrorism,' and they beat me with the end of an AK47 and also with their hands and they started insulting me ... They dragged me outside and put me in a truck with 20-25 others. [They] put us into a sweltering, cramped concrete room ... I heard screams, and I heard what sounded like beatings. After a few days the cell began to smell of sweat and shit. I think it was my fifth day when I was taken for interrogation. Still blindfolded, I went into a room and was hit in the mouth, I could taste the blood. A man's voice said, 'We know you are a terrorist who kills Shia.' Then they hit me in the mouth again and broke some of my teeth. The next day I was dumped by the side of the road. (More stories at link.)

INSIDE IRAQ: The Harsh Education of an Iraqi Feminist - On the other hand, she also thinks that it is critical to use Saddam Hussein's trial to "go through a process of telling our truth, documenting our past in Iraq". She fears that "he is being indicted only for a handful of crimes" and insisted on the opportunity to include his crimes against women. "This is a very important point in terms of setting up precedents for other future governments of Iraq, and for the society at large, that violence against women is not to be tolerated," she said. "This trial is an historical opportunity."

INSIDE IRAQ: Toy Guns, A Burned Taxi, and Daily Life in Baghdad - To Mahmoud, it was a child's game with a new toy gun. But to US soldiers driving past in their Humvee, the 11-year-old's squad of friends pointing their realistic assault rifles looked like a threat. "I was holding the gun this way," enthuses Mahmoud, striking a heroic pose. “Then they targeted me with their laser [gun sights]," he says, dragging a finger down his chest where the red beam lit him up. "I threw down my gun and ran away," he adds, tossing the plastic look-alike to the carpet and spilling a glass of soda. "They came back, and their bodies were shaking," says Mahmoud's sister Hibba.

OUTSIDE IRAQ: Egypt Says Wary of Iranian Influence In Iraq - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday that Iranian influence is introducing alien religious ideas to Iraq, setting the stage for a sectarian civil war if U.S. troops withdraw too soon. U.S. forces should stay in Iraq "helping to stabilise" the country, even if their presence attracts attacks, he told Reuters in an interview two days before a conference in Cairo seeking to reconcile Iraqi political factions. "The Iranians are spreading a notion of behaviour in relation to life, to religion, the role of religion in the state, the philosophy of the marja'iya (Shi'ite Muslim religious authority). These are issues that Iraq didn't have over 100 years of building a nation," the minister said.

"The issue is the cultural, philosophical approach to the role of the mosque, the role of the state, the role of education, the role of women, the role of family. Is it the Iranian model or is the model of a centrist Islam?" he said. Aboul Gheit was expressing fears shared by many Sunni Arab countries about rising Shi'ite influence in Iraq and the links of some Iraqi factions with neighbouring Shi'ite Iran.

OUTSIDE IRAQ: US Files Charges Against US Contractor in Iraq - The U.S. Justice Department filed the first criminal charges against an American contractor involved in Iraq's reconstruction. Philip H. Bloom, 65, funneled at least $693,000 in bribes and kickbacks through bank accounts in Iraq, Switzerland, Romania and the Netherlands over the year through January 2005, according to court documents filed yesterday. The money then went to at least two unnamed U.S. government officials and their spouses in exchange for reconstruction work valued at over $3.5 million, the documents show.

THE SHAME OF AMERICA: US Hired Ex-Con as Iraq Project Controller. - A North Carolina man who was charged Thursday with accepting kickbacks and bribes was hired as a controller and financial officer for the American occupation authority in Iraq despite having served prison time for felony fraud in the 1990s. The job gave the man, Robert J. Stein, control over $82 million in cash earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding projects.

THE SHAME OF BRITAIN: Britain to Send Iraqis Home Sunday - More than 20,000 Iraqis have applied for asylum in Britain during the past three years. The vast majority have had their applications rejected but have been allowed to stay because of the precarious situation in their homeland. However Channel 4 said a leaked interior ministry document showed the government had detained up to 15 failed asylum seekers and would now press ahead with forced repatriations.

THE SHAME OF AMERICA: President Bush is betraying the founding values of his nation - The bitter taste is left of an administration whose response is to deny first and concede later - only when found out. Outlawed weapons and lies about them. Hidden prisons and torture chambers. Human beings in cages. Captives who "disappear". This was Saddam Hussein's Iraq, was it not, and the justification for war? Two and a half years after the invasion, to the eternal shame of the occupiers, it is increasingly the new Iraq as well. We are observing what must be the worst week for the reputation of the joint United States and British adventure since the revelations of abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. Any hopes in Washington or London that the battle for Iraqi hearts and minds might yet be won have been thoroughly demolished. (The rest of this article is for paid viewers only.)

THE SHAME OF AMERICA: A Few Bad Apples - a report by the CBC - Young, inexperienced reserve soldiers like Israel Rivera were ordered to help break the detainees. Rivera told the fifth estate's Gillian Findlay: "I mean, prior to being an [intelligence] analyst I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, so it was quite a big jump from being a 19-year-old wage worker to, you know, people coming toward you and saying well, what do you think." (Caption said: Israel Rivera witnessed the abuse against Iraqi prisoners that night and walked away. The next day he reported the incident to his commander.)

In Washington DC, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, plans were drawn up that would change the nature of interrogation policy at Abu Ghraib, allowing for new methods that were previously considered off-limits. John Yoo is a legal scholar who helped re-define the term "torture" for the Bush White House. He explained the rational for doing so to Gillian Findlay: "I don't see why we ought to follow a policy that was created for wars between nation states that follow the laws of war when we're fighting an opponent that violates all the laws of war."

THE SHAME OF AMERICA: How the Pentagon Justifies Phosphorous Bombs on Fallujah: In Post Saddam Iraq: There are No Civilians

THE SHAME OF AMERICA: US Sweep of Arrests After Iraq Invasion Leads to Few Convictions - More than 35,000 Iraqis have been detained by American troops since the invasion of the country but only a tiny fraction have been convicted of wrongdoing, the Guardian has learned. About 21,000 have been released without ever being charged or tried. Of the 1,300 who have been charged, only half have been found guilty. Some 13,500 Iraqis are still being detained, more than double last year's total, according to official American figures. The Lib Dems argued yesterday that there was reason to believe that a significant proportion of those who had been detained were joining, or rejoining, the insurgency after their release. The US system of detentions may actually be fuelling the insurgency, they argue. "It is difficult to think of anything better calculated to create antagonism among the Iraqi population than detention against which there is no right to challenge or to appeal," the Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, said yesterday. He added: "Acting wholly contrary to accepted principle and without regard to legal obligations will inevitably make the struggle much more difficult. For the Iraqi government to have such a subordinate role until the point of conviction simply underlines the fact that they are a long way from having sovereignty over their own country."

THE WAR AT HOME: Pentagon Agrees to Probe Feith’s Role in Iraq Intel. News of the Defense Department probe comes at a time of bitter political debate over whether President George W. Bush misled the American people with prewar intelligence. The increasingly biter dispute has pitted the president and his top advisers against lawmakers including some from Bush's own Republican Party. Democrats have accused Feith of manipulating information from sources including discredited Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi to suggest links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, which masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush and other top administration officials cited alleged ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as a justification for military action. But the Sept. 11 commission later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between the two.

THE WAR AT HOME: McCain: Pentagon Spending “Unsustainable” - "We have unsustainable defense spending," said McCain, a chief proponent of military acquisition reform. "Refurbishment or replacement sooner than planned is putting further pressure on DOD's investment accounts. We cannot sustain the number of weapons programs that are in the program of record."

THE WAR AT HOME: Anti-war activist found guilty - Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan and 26 other peace activists were found guilty today of protesting without a permit near the White House last September. They were each ordered to pay 75 dollars in fines and court costs. But Sheehan's lawyer says he plans to appeal the verdict on the grounds they weren't demonstrating.

THE COALITION OF THE LESS WILLING: South Korea Slashing Troop Presence in Iraq by a Third. The announcement from the Korean Defense Ministry comes a day after President Bush met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and praised him as a staunch ally in the Iraq conflict. Roughly 32-hundred South Korean troops are stationed in northern Iraq, the third largest contingent after America’s and Britain’s in the US led coalition.

SOME IN AUSTRALIA ARE LESS WILLING ALSO: Call for Govt to Negotiate Iraq Exit Strategy with USA - Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says the latest troop rotation to Iraq should be the last.


OPINION: The Mother of an Australian Soldier Writes to John Howard - Time passes slowly for me, never more than in the early hours of the morning when unanswered questions, hopes and fears compete for time. Occasionally I am visited by despair. I despair when old men send young men to war, when those detained are mistreated and subjected to acts of humiliation, and the relative ease with which those with opposing views are labelled. I think of the young lives extinguished in Iraq, and of the Iraqi civilians killed in the conflict. Every death represents the loss of somebody's son/daughter and perhaps somebody's father/mother, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, nephew/niece . . . I wonder about the futility of war.I will light a candle as a symbol of hope - hope that those entrusted with the responsibility of leading nations will act with honesty, integrity and compassion in the interest of all humanity, hope for the safe return of defence force members, hope for the safe return of our son.

OPINION: Democracy through Napalm (from Daily Times, Pakistani newspaper) - Even if we accept that US troops did not use these munitions against civilian targets, though it is difficult to see how they could have deployed them so accurately against insurgents holed up in the city, we still have to contend with the fact that the US government lied blatantly when it denied it had such munitions. Col Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, told the BBC, that “White phosphorus is a conventional munition. It is not a chemical weapon. It is not outlawed or illegal. We use it primarily as an obscurant, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases. However, it is an incendiary weapon and may be used against enemy combatants.” If we read between the lines, this is how it can be paraphrased. When insurgents were asked to surrender they refused to do so. Since they are the bad guys, we had no option but to use whatever we had. But the press be damned for breaking the story so we are now telling you that we do have a more effective weapon to rid Iraq of those who are opposed to democracy, freedom and equality.It is somewhat amazing that the Bush-Blair duo should consider it safe and proper to continue to insult everyone’s intelligence. We now know how much they lied to find a casus belli against Iraq and we also know how much more they are prepared to lie to stay in Iraq. If bringing democracy means killing thousands of people it’s a cheap price to pay for the ideal towards which everyone must strive.

OPINION: It did not matter that Mohamed Atta, the leader of the Sept. 11 terrorists, never met with Iraqis in Prague, as high-level Bush officials claimed. It did not matter that Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was finding no evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. None of that mattered to Vice President Cheney, who warned of a "reconstituted" nuclear weapons program, promoted the nonexistent Prague meeting and went after legitimate critics with a zealousness that Tony Soprano would have admired: "We will not hesitate to discredit you," Cheney told ElBaradei and Hans Blix, the other important U.N. inspector. ElBaradei recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. Cheney's gonna have to wait for his. What's more, there's evidence aplenty that the sloppy thinking, false analogies and bad history that led to the Iraq war remain the cultural style of the White House.

OPINION: Mogadishu on the Tigris: The Reality of Bush’s Iraq. - Although the US forces had ridden to the rescue on this occasion, many of these units have been created, trained and armed by the Americans. According to reports, $3bn (£1.7bn) out of an $87bn Iraq appropriation that Congress approved last year was earmarked for the creation of paramilitary units to fight the insurgency. Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-terrorism, said: "They set up little teams of [Navy] Seals and special forces with teams of Iraqis, working with people who were in senior intelligence under the Saddam regime." Iraqi politicians in the new regime have repeatedly accused the CIA of refusing to hand over control of the recreated Iraqi intelligence service to the Iraqi government, and the paramilitaries are run by Adnan Thabit, allegedly a former CIA "asset". (One of the comments said, “Is Negroponte behind all this?” One has to wonder.)

OPINION: But as Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post pointed out in a recent story, the Robb-Silberman Commision wasn't charged with discerning whether "officials mischaracterized intelligence by omitting caveats and dissenting opinions." In fact, "Judge Laurence H. Silberman ... said in releasing his report on March 31, 2005: 'Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry.'"

Not only is it now a very public inquiry, but the debate appears to be headed on a very divisive path.

OPINION: When George Bush says "the defense of freedom is always worth it," to whom is it worth it? Those poor Iraqis who were slaughtered or lost their homes in Fallujah? The innocent women and children who happened to be in the way of the cluster bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force? Don't those people count as human beings? Or is it only the posturing politicians whose fate is important?

OPINION: The damage is twofold: to US boasts of having replaced a cruel dictatorship with something better; and to hopes that Sunnis can be coaxed into taking part in next month's elections - vital if any sort of democracy is to emerge. Leaving aside the question of Iraq's non-existent WMD, the case against the Ba'ath regime was based on its egregious abuses of human rights. It is outrageous that a government purporting to represent the Iraqi people in a new era could permit such terrible wrongs. Conditions in the bunker were so bad, according to one freed detainee, that inmates prayed for a transfer to US custody at the Abu Ghraib prison. Confirmation that US forces have used white phosphorous weapons is damaging too since it follows earlier denials that happily did not throw determined bloggers off the scent. The recent use of the distasteful expression "shake'n'bake" - evidence of the dehumanising effect of this dirty, half-hidden war - leaves little doubt as to the routine nature of the offence. White phosphorous shells are designed to flush an enemy out of his position by producing dense smoke. It is a different matter to use them as an incendiary weapon which inflicts severe burns. Their use is not technically barred by the conventional weapons convention (though the British government confirmed that it, unlike the US a signatory to the convention, does not use them). The nature of the enemy is irrelevant. Gratuitous brutality risks handing free propaganda to the insurgents - as well as encouraging ironic comments about banned weapons. These issues are about legality and morality. Both have been badly damaged by the government of Iraq and the countries which went to war to put it in power.

OPINION: From the authors of the Lancet study, a letter to the editor. - Gil Elliot's critique of our Iraq casualty estimation (Letters, November 10) raises many excellent points but contained several errors. Most importantly, the line "The number of deaths uncovered by the fieldwork, excluding Falluja, was 21" is simply wrong - that number was 89. Second, our random sample of 988 households in 33 neighbourhoods represents the entire population and has no inherent errors when estimating deaths. The fact that aerial bombing, which causes deaths in clusters, was a significant cause of death contributes to the imprecision of our findings, but does not necessarily make the estimate high or low. As hinted by Elliot, we strongly suspect that our 100,000 estimate is low. While deaths reported were confirmed with death certificates more than 80% of the time, families may have hidden deaths. The shame of burying wives and mothers without ritual may explain the lack of adult women. Our study has many limitations. The occupiers can and should improve upon our efforts to acknowledge and respect those lives lost.Les Roberts, Johns Hopkins UniversityProf Richard Garfield, Columbia University

OPINION: Juan Cole is a dove today. PEACE ACTION: LEAVE MY CHILD ALONE - Complete information on “opt-out” of military recruitment for high schoolers.

PEACE ACTION: Close the SOA! Converge on Fort Benning this Weekend: November 18-20, 2005. Thousands traveling to Georgia to call for Closure of the SOA.


Local Story: Four Soldiers, two from Florida, killed in Iraq

Local Story: Family remembers Ohio Marine’s Lifelong Military Dedication

Local Story: A Virginia Marine and a Virginia Soldiers killed in Iraq

Local Story: Two Oklahoma Marines killed while fighting in Iraq

Local Story: Oklahoma Soldier killed in Iraq

Local Story: PA Soldier killed in Iraq

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion....Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region" - Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)


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