Iraq: the war and occupation

Source: World Socialist Web Site
This anniversary is both tragic and infamous. It marks the beginning of a war of aggression based upon lies. Launched in the name of "liberating" the Iraqi people, it has inflicted a catastrophe of world historic proportions upon their country and constitutes the greatest crime against humanity of the 21st century. March 2009. [see more]
On 1 May 2003, 20 days after Baghdad was taken in an offensive by the allied troops of the United States and Great Britain, with the support of the Spanish Government headed by José María Aznar, US President George W Bush proclaimed the “end to hostilities” in Iraqi territory. However, the truth was that the conflict in Iraq was far from over.

The humanitarian crisis was growing daily, the shortages suffered by the population were ever greater, and the civilian victims of the war that had begun on 23 March numbered almost 10,000 (although the count was inexact due to the chaos affecting health services). What was even more serious was that the level of insecurity did not diminish after the conflict officially came to an end. In a country where the authorities had either vanished or been captured by the occupying forces, chaos and uncertainty was growing daily.

After President Bush’s announcement, the debate broadened to encompass various issues: where were the weapons of mass destruction, the elimination of which had provided Bush and his principal ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, with the justification for the war; what role would the United Nations play in the reconstruction of Iraq, after the international body had seen its attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict steamrollered; who would rule the country; and, above all, what would the Middle East situation look like in the context of the war on terror launched following the events of 11 September 2001.

The weapons of mass destruction never appeared, but Bush and Blair did not repent of their actions because they felt it was their duty to “free Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein”, whom they finally captured on the outskirts of Tikrit, where he had been born, on 13 December 2003. Meanwhile, from 23-24 October Madrid hosted the International Donors’ Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, which it was estimated was going to cost some 100,000 million dollars. However, in spite of the destruction caused by the invasion, it was not repairing and reconstructing the country’s infrastructure that was costing the most in Iraq, but maintaining the US forces there. Washington is paying 51,000 million dollars a year for the upkeep of its 140,000 troops.

During the year following the declaration of the end of the war, twice as many US soldiers had died in Iraq as died during the “official” war period. Moreover, it is clear that the world is not a safer place without Saddam Hussein in power, and the people have began to make their goverments pay the price for using facile arguments to justify going to war. In Spain, the shock of the attacks committed on 11 March 2004 in Madrid, in reprisal for the Government’s support for Bush and Blair’s war, led the electorate withdrew its support from Aznar, in favour of the opposition Socialist Party; as soon as he had taken office, President elect José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero ordered the Spanish troops out of Iraq.

But there was more to come. On 28 April 2004, CBS TV published the first in a series of photos showing US soldiers committing all kinds of abuses against Iraqi prisoners. Following this, the US and British media began to show the public the abuses that were committed in Iraqi prisons run by the occupying forces, mainly in Abu Ghraib prison, which has been notorious since the time of Saddam Hussein. The ensuing scandal – the ultimate consequences of which cannot yet be foreseen – forced not only the Pentagon, but also Bush and Blair to express their ignorance and to apologise, while enquiries were launched to identify those responsible.

In spite of the fact that both the US and British authorities insisted that this was not how the majority of their troops generally behaved, the testimonies and documentary evidence that began to surface showed that these were in fact “systematic practices” that violated the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. On 8 May, hours after Tony Blair’s public apology, the British Government acknowledged that in February it had been sent a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross documenting alleged torture of Iraqi prisoners by British and US soldiers.

The selection of links, reports and articles below aim to serve to complement the news reports available from different sources, with a special emphasis on independent information from civil society organizations and alternative media.
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Friday, March 20 2009
Six years of Washington’s war in Iraq
(Source: World Socialist Web Site)
Wednesday, February 18 2009
US occupation of Iraq: an ongoing criminal enterprise
(Source: World Socialist Web Site)
Wednesday, December 17 2008
The weapon of the occupied
(Source: The Electronic Intifada)

About Iraq

Looted history (Planeta Portoalegre)

Iraq: People come first (Amnesty International)

The World Guide 2003 - 2004


After the war in Iraq: before a new world order?

War on Iraq: the social cost (Social Watch)

Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

Post-War Iraq (Global Policy)

Six years of Washington’s war in Iraq (World Socialist Web Site)

The politics of naming: genocide, civil war, insurgency (London Review of Books)

Iraq: civilians without protection (International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC))

The Iraq effect: war has increased terrorism sevenfold worldwide (Mother Jones)

Can't stay the course, can't end the war, but we'll call it bipartisan (Foreign Policy In Focus)

The Iraq Study Group Report (Global Policy Forum)

Nowhere to flee: the perilous situation of Palestinians in Iraq (Human Rights Watch)

Dying and lying (Porto Alegre 2003)

A ravaged land (MotherJones)

Open fire and open markets: strategy of an empire (Third World Network)

Iraq: a mercenary's paradise (Corporate Watch)

The Iraq impasse (Middle East Report)

The Big Lie (AlterNet)

Everyday chaos (Mother Jones)

The vulnerabilities of the Bush Iraq policies (Transnational Institute)

The 50 lies, exaggerations, distortions and half truths about the Iraq war (Global Policy)

Building a new security structure (International Crisis Group)

Legal inquiry into aspects of the military operations against and subsequen occupation of Iraq during 2003 (CSCA)

The changing face of occupation - what numbers cannot tell (Occupation Watch)

Who´ll be the next U.S. target in the Middle East? (Third World Network - TWN)

World Tribunal on Iraq

World Tribunal on Iraq: Final Statement of the Jury of Conscience (World Tribunal on Iraq - New York)

'People's court' indicts US on Irak (World Tribunal on Iraq)

Iraq: shock and awe therapy (ALAI)

World Tribunal on Iraq

Saddam's fate

The execution of Saddam Hussein (World Socialist Web)

Amnesty International deplores death sentences in Saddam Hussein trial (Amnesty International)

Iraq takes charge of Saddam case (BBC News)

Saddam should face international court (Common Dreams)

Iraq: victory poses a problem (IPS)

Try Saddam in an international court (Human Rights Watch)

What was the war about?

The war on Iraq: goals and implications

The legacy of war: mass destruction, instability and overdraft (Choike)

The Alternative United States

Today, Iraq. Tomorrow ... Democracy? (In These Times)

The permanent occupation (CounterCurrents)

The war card: orchestrated deception on the path to war (Center for Public Integrity)

Former UN Official: US blocked certification that Iraq had no WMDs in 1990s (World Socialist Web Site)

No law for oil (Transnational Institute)

Lie by lie: the Mother Jones Iraq war timeline (8/1/90 - 6/21/03) (Mother Jones)

Is Iraq another Vietnam? It is already lost (Peace & Conflict Monitor)

Derailing the USA, Israel, and their allied countries in the front line (World Forum for Alternatives)

Umm Qasr: from national pride to war booty (CorpWatch)

What to expect from US "democracy promotion" in Iraq (Focus on the Global South)

The US Vice-President Cheney apparatus (Voltaire Network)

Blood for oil? (London Review of Books)

New row on legality of Iraq war (Third World Network Features)

It's official: Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (BBC News)

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: evidence and implications (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

War launched to protect Israel - Bush adviser (IPS - Inter Press Services)

The lie factory (Mother Jones)

Excerpt: the five biggest lies Bush told us about Iraq (AlterNet)

Security Council

Security Council on Iraq crisis (Global Policy)

Letter to the Security Council on the issue of detainees in Iraq (Global Policy Forum)

US military and clandestine operations in foreign countries - 1890-present (Global Policy Forum)

The peace movement

Other Anti War Resources

Groups you can contact (Green Net)

War Resisters' International

Don´t let world opinion be ignored (Pambazuka)

Guide to anti war web sites (Guardian)

Ending the Iraq war where it began (Green Left Weekly)

The Republican right's challenge to the global peace movement (Focus on the Global South)

March 20: Global Day of Action against War and Occupation (United for Peace & Justice)

Resistance to war on irak (Choike)

Media coverage

International media

Middle East media

The US war on Iraq (Le Monde Diplomatique)

The occupation fiasco

The weapon of the occupied (The Electronic Intifada)

U.S.-Iraq agreement on maintaining U.S. troops in Iraq (Institute for Policy Studies)

The greatest story never told (

Five years of war crimes (CounterCurrents)

The paid (and protected) terrorists (CounterCurrents)

Iraq: the people's report (Institute for Policy Studies)

The war economy of Iraq (Middle East Report)

Operation Iraq forever (Counter Currents)

The Bush veto, Iraq funding and permanent occupation (Transnational Institute - Institute for Policy Studies)

War and occupation in Iraq (Global Policy Forum)

Iraq after Halliburton (CorpWatch)

Low intensity conflict and nation-building in Iraq: a chronology (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Paying the price: the mounting costs of the Iraq war (Institute for Policy Studies)

A failed 'transition': the mounting costs of the Iraq war (Institute for Policy Studies)

The logic of withdrawal (ZNet)

The U.S. role in Iraq’s sectarian violence (Foreign Policy In Focus)

The Iraq quagmire (Foreign Policy in Focus)

A case study in postwar chaos (CorpWatch)

Mishandled money plagued U.S.-ruled Iraq (Inter Press Service (IPS))

Coalition ignored warnings on weapons stocks (Human Rights Watch)

The final UN resolution on Iraq's interim government (Transnational Institute)

The handover that became a shambles: ten U-turns on the road to 'peace' (Occupation Watch)

Iraq crisis on the boil (TWN)

The "good guys" who can do no wrong (Information Clearing House)

From Fallujah to photos, one fiasco after another (IPS - Inter Press Services)

The human rights situation

Iraq's occupation: a form of terrorism (CounterCurrents)

Deaths in Iraq: the numbers game, revisited (OpenDemocracy)

Refugees in limbo: the plight of Iraqis in bordering states (Middle East Report)

Iraq's refugee nightmare (Socialist Worker)

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq: Human Rights Report (Global Policy Forum)

Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad)

UN Assistance Mission for Iraq: Human Rights Report (Global Policy Forum)

Occupation and Rule in Iraq - Atrocities and Criminal Homicides (Global Policy Forum)

The hidden war on women in Iraq (TomDispatch)

Iraqi women under siege (CODEPINK - Global Exchange)

By the Numbers: Findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project (Human Rights Watch)

Returning to the scene of the crime: war crimes in Iraq (TomDispatch)

Command’s Responsibility; Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan (Human Rights First)

Hearts and minds: post-war civilian deaths in Baghdad caused by U.S. forces (Human Rights Watch)

Joint report on civilian casualties and claims related to U.S. military operations (Occupation Watch)

U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse (NBC News)

Killings of civilians by UK Forces (BBC News)

Torture and the future (Middle East Report)

The road to Abu Ghraib (Human Rights Watch)

The other prisoners (Global Policy Forum)

Human dignity denied: torture and accountability in the ‘war on terror’ (Amnesty International)

Getting away with torture?: Command responsibility for the U.S. abuse of detainees (Human Rights Watch)

Making the children pay (Third World Network Features)

Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq (Amnesty International)

The reconstruction of Iraq

US occupation of Iraq: an ongoing criminal enterprise (World Socialist Web Site)

Fixing Iraq (Foreign Policy In Focus)

High-Tech healthcare in Iraq, minus the healthcare (CorpWatch)

The corporate occupation of Iraq (

Destroy and profit: wars, disasters and corporations (Focus on the Global South)

The 10 most brazen war profiteers (Global Policy Forum - AlterNet)

Corporate carve-up (Corporate Watch)

Iraqi Kurds hint at independence (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)

IMF measures wreak havoc on Iraqi people (World Socialist Web Site)

Crude designs: The rip-off of Iraq’s oil wealth (Global Policy Forum)

Women appeal against curtailing of rights in Iraqi constitution (Eldis)

From the reconstruction to the privatization of Iraq (CETIM)

Decades of suffering, now women deserve better (Amnesty International)

Iraq's excluded women (Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC))

Reconstructing Iraq (International Crisis Group)

Advocates of war now profit from Iraq's reconstruction (Common Dreams)

Shameless in Iraq (Global Policy Forum)

The other reconstruction: How private contractors are transforming Iraq's state and civil society (Focus on the Global South)

Houston, we have a problem (CorpWatch)

Iraq's transition: on a knife edge (International Crisis Group)

The Iraqi Constitution (Transnational Institute)

Madrid donors conference: the "pending bonanza" (Focus on the Global South)

Reconstructing Iraq (Third World Network Features)

Discussion paper: Reparation for torture in Iraq in the context of transitional justice (The Redress Trust)

Iraq post-elections

Reading the elections (Institute for Policy Studies)

The United Nations' role

Is the United Nations irrelevant? (Yellow Times)

Finding a New Role (Institute for War & Peace)

The UN's impossible task in Iraq (Global Policy Forum - Financial Times)

Strings and the Global Gulliver (MERIP)

NGOs and civil society

Representatives of independent citizen organizations

Civil society organizations: "Yes for Federal Iraq, no for sectarian partitioning" (Iraqi Al-Amal Association)

War and occupation in Iraq: a new NGO report (Global Policy Forum)

Iraqi trade union statement on the oil law (Carbon Web)

NGO letter to the Security Council on Iraq (Global Policy Forum)

Is there an international system or is the world governed by unilateral superpowers? (Arab NGO Network for Development)

Palestinians demand guarantees (Choike)

Humanitarian aid

Impact of war on Iraq (Eldis)

UN heading for stand-off over relief aid (IPS)

The humanitarian challenge (Choike)

Iraq displacement and return: 2008 mid-year review (International Organization for Migration)

Uprooted and unstable: meeting urgent humanitarian needs in Iraq (Refugees International)

Iraqi refugees: donor governments must provide bilateral assistance to host countries (Refugees International)

Taking sides or saving lives: existential choices for the humanitarian enterprise in Iraq (The Feinstein International Center)

Rising to the humanitarian challenge in Iraq (Oxfam)

Iraqi food security in hands of occupying powers (MERIP)

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