Casualties in Iraq

I discovered your site through MichaelMoore.com. I must say that I am impressed. I was looking for more facts and figures on the “true cost” of this war and was even about to suggest to MoveOn.org to post the numbers on their home page. I feel it would be worthwhile to also compile a weekly list of how many widows/ widowers, motherless/ fatherless children and orphaned children are created each week. Also, a breakdown of just how many of the Iraqi civilian casualties are women and children that are killed and injured by this supposed “right to life” killer administration.

As far as the financial cost: Nearly all of the “coalition of the willing” nations that are in this mess with us were strong armed into being there via promises of stronger trade ties with us, out right cash incentives and/or threats of negative financial consequences if they didn’t join up. Can it be determined what the total cost in dollars is for all the Nations involved (along with the incentives which will cost U.S. taxpayers eventually)?

Thanks for your web site.

~ A.J. Weldon


82 Percent of Iraqis Oppose U.S. Occupation

A coworker of mine stated the “fact” that most Iraqis were glad the US was in Iraq. My own opinion, without statistical facts, is that that must be why we’re having such a hard time “liberating” a country with the same population as Texas and half its area. I’ve spent the morning trying to research some form of factual statistical information on the percentage of Iraqis happy with the occupation, but have come up empty handed. Do you know of such information?

~ Bryan Morton

Eric Garris replies:

Early in the occupation, some polls showed Iraqi approval of the US. Over the past year, the numbers have turned the other way. The most recent extensive poll showed 82% of Iraqis opposing the occupation.


Evidence Grows of More Widespread Abuse

As an American and World War II Navy veteran who saw combat in the Pacific area and witnessed death and destruction, I am wondering what this so-called war in Iraq is all about. Some are defending the alleged brutality and abusive treatment of the Iraqi prisoners, SAYING, “well they all are terrorists and horrible people anyway”; this does not justify the inhumanity and embarrassment that has evolved from this. …

We are losing AMERICAN lives everyday we are there plus costing billions and billions of US dollars. And what happened to the oil wells we captured? Instead of this lowering the price of gasoline for our consumers, they have manipulated prices higher and are continuing to gouge the motorists, which fuels inflation since all goods delivered by truck will cost more due to the unnecessary gouging of prices at the gas pumps.

My final comments: Get the hell out of Iraq now and stop the daily murder of our soldiers and sailors. People are fed up with the way things are going.

~ FAS


More Unanswered Questions of Nick Berg’s Murder

I liked very much reading the article by Mr. Gregory and I must say that after the terrifying experience of watching this murder, some doubts came to my mind which I want to share and they are the following:

1. Why is Nick Berg wearing an orange jumpsuit just like the ones worn by inmates of US prison system? Is it that the Americanization of Iraq has been absorbed so fast that the resistance brigades already have a stock of the same type of uniforms for their hostages?

2. According to media, the CIA claims the executioner was Abu Masoub al’Zarqawi, reported as Number Two Guy in al’Qaida terrorist network. Hey, wasn’t this al’Zarqawi the one that the Pakistani Army had surrounded up in the mountains near the border with Afghanistan in the “Hammer and Anvil Operation” last March? If he is the same guy, how come he is “operating” in Baghdad now? Well, maybe he has a magic flying carpet! Then Osama bin Laden must have a better one, this explains why they are so hard to catch!

3. Most of the time, al’Qaida uses either al’Jazeera or al’Arabiya TV stations to broadcast its audio or -video messages. This time the video was shown on a website. Strange, isn’t it?

Of course, many more doubts will arise as many other people check the
video.

I hope the truth comes up soon.

~ Maru, Mexico

Hasn’t anyone noticed the US Army current issue desert boots yet?

~ Dr. Kliesh

Anthony Gregory replies:

I don’t know what to think about this. The conspiracy-type-questions are all very interesting, but I haven’t seen a credible, viable explanation of what actually happened from anyone. Clearly, the public doesn’t have the whole truth on the whereabouts of Berg and who had custody of him and when. There might be other questions to be asked. Just like everyone else I can only pose questions; I can’t supply answers. Given the times it might be hard to get the whole truth any time soon.

Thank you for that wholly rational and appropriately questioning piece.

~ Eileen B.

Anthony Gregory replies:

You’re welcome! There’s so much in this story that requires explanation, but we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions.

Thank you for this article and please stay on this story. I think getting to the truth in this strange story is very important to the American people. When I read the first official story from our military that said Berg’s body was found with slight trauma and then I learned that his head had been removed the red flags went up. I hope you learn and report to all of us the truth.

~ Bill Schenck

Anthony Gregory replies:

The US government sure has trouble keeping its stories straight. That’s war for you.


GI Joe Meets GI Ho

Here’s another “gem” by Ms. Mercer: “Blame the Jews.”

Ms. Mercer makes it clear in her GI Joe piece that it is “America” to blame for the war and the torture – regardless of the neocons or any other-than-America influences, which Antiwar.com reports on regularly. Mention these influences in fact and it is tantamount to “blaming the Jews.” Please read Ms. Mercer’s ridiculous piece by the same title (link above) – distorting and smearing Buchanan and MacDonald with absurd distortions of what they say and stand for is what she’s capable of, other than being a garden variety hypocrite. It surprised that Antiwar.com would feature her.

~ N.M.L., Florida

Ilana Mercer replies:

I think I “get” the thrust of the reader’s note. She is both rude and wrong. I’ve been vocal about neoconservative ideology and the prevalence of Jews among these ‘delightful’ folk. (See “The Jewish connection.”) It is the conspiratorial aspect of this libel that I reject. Nonetheless, as a show of good will, I’ve resigned from the Council of the Elders of Zion; running the world (for Israel’s benefit) is simply too demanding.

As to Antiwar.com, this is an opportunity to say publicly what I’ve said in private to Mr. E. Garris. The editors at Antiwar.com are unique in their commitment to harnessing powerful antiwar voices, without bogging down in ideological faction fighting. Unlike other more collectivist, monolithic libertarian outlets, which demand adherence to party lines, Antiwar.com doesn’t expunge and excommunicate those who have different perspectives. This shows intellectual honesty (and vibrancy), as well a unique and principled devotion to a cause. In this, Antiwar.com is both unusual and commendable.


War and Global Poverty

It seems to us that what needs to be emphasized over and over again is, as Ruben Botello, Director, World Homeless Union, has stated so clearly:

“Massive military spending creates more death and destruction, not less. Imagine how much good instead of death and destruction these hard-earned tax dollars could be spent for throughout the world. $2.7 trillion is more than all the money needed ($2.3 trillion), to solve all the most critical problems facing the world, today, in a few short years.”

This goes way beyond the pragmatic argument about lies, broken promises regarding WMD’s etc. It goes to the root of why war fails humankind in the most horrific way. This war and administration especially.

~ Stephen Hand, editor, TCRNews.com


Parallels, Contrasts and Questions

In his column “Parallels, Contrasts and Questions,” Nebojsa Malic rightly condemns human rights abuses in Iraq by Coalition forces, including charges of rape, but goes on to argue “there is no evidence whatsoever that rape in Bosnia or Kosovo went beyond the extent commonplace in wartime.” As evidence for this claim he offers reports that end conveniently in January 1995.

Convenient, because in February 2002 the ICTY in The Hague found Serb army commander Dragoljub Kunarac and two paramilitary leaders guilty of presiding over the rape, torture, and sexual enslavement of dozens of women in the southeastern Bosnian town of Foca during 1992 and 1993. Sixteen Bosnian women bravely defied shame and testified against Kunarac and his colleagues.

For the first time an international court ruled that the systematic rape of women in wartime must be considered a war crime and a crime against humanity. Intellectual honesty requires us to acknowledge this case as a victory for all champions of human rights who would condemn atrocities regardless of which parties commit them.

~ David Walls

Nebojsa Malic replies:

My regular readers know that I do not consider ICTY a legitimate court, international or any other kind, so I am not inclined to use their judgments as credible proof of anything. However, stipulating for the sake of argument that their judgment in the Kunarac case was absolutely accurate, how exactly is sexual enslavement and torture of *sixteen* women in *one* town, criminal and deplorable as it is, in any way “systematic”? Would not “systematic” in this context mean tens of thousands, deliberately imprisoned and raped as part of a campaign organized and orchestrated from the top, as propaganda has claimed for all these years? By which magic are sixteen women raped by a group of local militia running a notorious ex-government prison transformed into tens of thousands, systematically raped at government orders?

I do not deny that rape is a hideous crime, nor would anyone with an ounce of common sense deny that systematic rape – whether in war or peacetime – would indeed be an atrocity of the highest order. But that is not the question here. The question is whether the rapes that occurred during the war in Bosnia are local incidents that fit a pattern of wartime savagery, or a centrally planned systematic atrocity? Given the absence of evidence for the latter, and abundance of evidence for the former, I would say that manipulating very real crimes into a specious charge of systematic atrocity – for purposes propaganda, military and political – is what truly runs afoul of intellectual honesty.

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