By James Cogan, 14 August 2010
Lieutenant General Babaker Zerbari, the commander of the Iraqi armed forces, publicly called this week for American troops to remain until at least 2020—well beyond the present 2011 deadline.
By Bill Van Auken, 3 August 2010
In a speech to a disabled veterans group Monday, President Obama claimed credit for winding down the US war in Iraq, even as tens of thousands of troops remain there, and his administration continues to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
By Jordan Shilton, 31 July 2010
Iraq is seeking to extend the powers of the state over the media, with the announcement earlier this month of the creation of a special court to try journalists.
The consequences of a US war crime
By Tom Eley, 23 July 2010
Five and a half years after an assault by the US military, the Iraqi city of Fallujah is experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, and infant mortality than those recorded among survivors in Japanese cities targeted for nuclear incineration in 1945.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 July 2010
Vice President Joe Biden left Iraq Monday after three days spent pressuring Iraqi factions into forming a new government with which Washington can negotiate terms for continuing US military control of the oil-rich country.
By Peter Symonds, 9 June 2010
While the character of the American occupation of Iraq is changing, its underlying purpose—to maintain the country firmly under US domination—remains the same.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 May 2010
The political crisis gripping Iraq has deepened following a series of violent attacks on May 10.
By David Walsh, 12 May 2010
The International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed to the British Broadcasting Corporation that the US military is operating a second “black jail” at its Bagram airbase near Kabul in Afghanistan, contrary to the Pentagon’s public denials.
Abu Ghraib-style brutality
By Nancy Hanover, 4 May 2010
News reports show that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ran a covert prison in Baghdad for the purposes of holding and torturing hundreds of Sunni insurgents.
After leaking of 2007 videotape
By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2010
Two soldiers who served in an Army unit depicted in a shocking video released by WikiLeaks have issued a public apology for the carnage, which they say was routine during their deployment in Iraq.
By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2010
Iraq war veteran Josh Stieber, whose company is seen in the video posted by WikiLeaks of a July 2007 massacre of civilians in Baghdad, talked to the World Socialist Web Site about his experiences in Iraq and why he has chosen to speak out.
By Peter Symonds, 16 April 2010
The Obama administration is pressing for rapid agreement on new punitive UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programs.
By James Cogan, 10 April 2010
The claims of “democracy” are another attempt to blind the American and international working class to the consequences of seven years of imperialist violence against the Iraqi people.
By Patrick O’Connor, 7 April 2010
The footage, with accompanying radio messages among the US troops involved, is further evidence of the criminal character of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
By Patrick Martin, 3 April 2010
The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, said in an interview this week that those who launched the war in Iraq were guilty of killing a million innocent people and violating international law.
By James Cogan, 29 March 2010
With the Iraqiya coalition of Iyad Allawi narrowly ahead of the bloc headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, frantic negotiations are underway to form the next government.
By James Cogan, 15 March 2010
Initial reports indicate that none of the major political coalitions won an outright majority in Iraq’s March 7 election. The results highlight the ethno-communal divisions that the US occupation has fomented.
By James Cogan, 8 March 2010
The candidates in yesterday’s election represent the venal Iraqi ruling elite that has been prepared to collaborate with an occupying power in the hope of gaining privileges, positions and wealth.
Top general reveals
By Patrick Martin, 25 February 2010
Gen. Raymond Odierno, the US commander in Iraq, revealed Monday that he has briefed the Pentagon on plans to keep US combat troops in Iraq after the upcoming August 31 deadline for their withdrawal.
By Patrick O’Connor, 22 February 2010
The National Dialogue Front said its boycott was prompted by earlier denunciations of Ahmed Chalabi as an effective Iranian agent by the top US general and senior diplomat in Iraq.
By Patrick O’Connor, 15 February 2010
US troops and their proxy Iraqi security forces killed at least five people on Friday during a raid on a village near the Iranian border.
By James Cogan, 6 February 2010
After concerns voiced by the Obama administration, an Iraqi appeals court overturned a ruling that had banned hundreds of Sunni-based candidates from standing in the March 7 election.
By James Cogan, 3 February 2010
The campaign for the March 7 election in Iraq is heightening sectarian tensions within the country’s bitterly divided political establishment.
By James Cogan, 11 January 2010
If Saleh al-Mutlaq’s party is banned, it has the potential to ignite civil warfare and renewed resistance to the ongoing US military presence.
By Patrick Martin, 14 December 2009
In a clear sign of Washington’s declining influence, even in a country it still occupies, companies from China, Russia, Malaysia and Angola, along with several European oil giants, won most of the rights to explore and develop Iraq’s oil fields.
By James Cogan, 14 December 2009
The Australian government was no less complicit than its British counterpart in the war crimes committed by the Bush administration in Iraq.
By James Cogan, 10 December 2009
The latest bombings occurred on the same day elections were announced for March 7, 2010. After months of political wrangling, an election law was finally agreed by rival ethno-sectarian factions.
By James Cogan, 30 November 2009
Changes to Iraq’s election law have inflamed the sectarian and ethnic animosities that have been fomented by the US occupation since the 2003 invasion.
By Julie Hyland, 26 November 2009
Documents leaked to the Telegraph newspaper indicate how severe tensions developed between the British and United States armed forces in Iraq, to the extent that a former British Chief of Staff described relations with his American counterparts as “akin to dealing with a group of Martians”.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 November 2009
US-occupied Afghanistan is the world’s second most corrupt country—after Somalia, where no government has functioned for two decades—while Iraq is the fourth worst, according to a report released by an international watchdog group.
By David Walsh, 17 November 2009
As a likely result of the weaponry unleashed on the Iraqi city of Fallujah by the US military in 2004, doctors are discovering a horrifying increase in birth defects and deformities.
By James Cogan, 14 November 2009
National elections in Iraq have been scheduled for January 18 following the passing of electoral legislation in the parliament last Sunday. Legislators were under intense pressure from Washington to end a protracted impasse over the law that threatened to derail the poll.
By Alex Lantier, 13 November 2009
Peter Galbraith stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money by cashing in on his links to the Kurdish regional leadership in Iraq.
By James Cogan, 11 November 2009
The awarding of development rights over the huge West Qurna oilfield in southern Iraq to Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell underscores the criminal character of the continuing US-led occupation.
By James Cogan, 27 October 2009
The massive explosions in central Baghdad on Sunday are a particularly bloody reminder of the sectarian, ethnic and political conflicts that have been generated in Iraq by six-and-a-half years of US occupation.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 September 2009
Vice President Biden visited Iraq to uphold the US occupation and push for a law to open up the country’s oil wealth to exploitation.
By James Cogan, 4 September 2009
A political realignment is taking place in Iraq ahead of national elections on January 30, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seeking to retain Washington’s support.
By Kerem Kaya, 31 August 2009
In recent weeks, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has taken steps—since dubbed the “democratic process”—towards addressing the Kurdish question through peaceful rather than military means.
By James Cogan, 21 August 2009
Wednesday’s bombings in Baghdad have dealt a significant blow to the claims of both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the country has been pacified and secured by the US military “surge”.
UNESCO Report on Babylon
By Sandy English, 11 August 2009
UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, has issued a report outlining the extensive damage caused by US occupation forces in Iraq to the archeological site of ancient Babylon.
By James Cogan, 30 July 2009
Maliki made explicit that the so-called December 2011 “deadline” for the withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq was not worth the paper it was written on.
By Robert Stevens, 23 July 2009
A public inquiry into the killing of Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa by British soldiers in September 2003 opened in London on July 13.
By James Cogan, 30 June 2009
It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum.
By Paul Bond, 26 June 2009
A confidential memo detailing a meeting between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair confirms their determination to press ahead with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 without any evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
By Tom Eley, 13 June 2009
The US is working to block an Iraqi national referendum on its Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. If voters reject the pact, according to Iraqi law the US military would have to withdraw much earlier than the Obama administration has said it would.
By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2009
Amid mounting violence in Iraq and preparations for a major escalation of the US war in Afghanistan, the chief of staff of the US Army said that the military is preparing to continue its interventions in the two countries for at least another decade.
Democrats back US militarism
By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2009
By a margin of 86-3, the US Senate voted Thursday to approve a $91.3 billion supplemental funding bill to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30. The bill brings the total expended on the two wars of aggression to more than $900 billion.
By James Cogan, 29 April 2009
Protests in Iraq over a US special forces raid in the city of Kut on Sunday will add to the mounting concerns in the Obama administration and American military over the country’s ongoing instability.
By James Cogan, 28 April 2009
A secret tally compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry recorded 87,215 violent deaths in the country between early 2005 and February 28, 2009. However, the figure vastly underestimates the actual death toll.
By Bill Van Auken, 27 April 2009
In the wake of a series of deadly bombings that have called into question Washington’s plans to transfer American troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a crisis trip to Baghdad on Saturday.
By James Cogan, 27 April 2009
As many as two million Iraqi citizens are still refugees in neighbouring countries and at least 1.6 million are classified as internally displaced persons.
By James Cogan, 20 April 2009
To a large extent, the American ruling elite has been convinced by its own propaganda. From the Obama administration to the Republican opposition and the mass media, there is a consensus that the surge of tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq in 2007 and 2008 led to “victory”.
By James Cogan, 10 April 2009
The long brewing confrontation over the “disputed territories”—the areas of northern Iraq claimed by the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government—is set to erupt this month with the release of a UN report.
By Bill Van Auken, 8 April 2009
President Obama staged an unannounced visit to Baghdad Tuesday afternoon as a series of car-bombings and renewed clashes between Sunni militias and Iraqi security forces contradicted claims of “success” for the US neo-colonial venture in Iraq.
By James Cogan, 30 March 2009
Amid the ongoing claims of victory in Iraq, American forces and the pro-US government have come into conflict with predominantly Sunni Arab militias that were bribed into ending their resistance to the occupation during the “surge” in 2007.
By James Cogan, 23 March 2009
After six years of occupation and repression, millions of Iraqis now face a further deterioration in their appalling living standards due to the collapse in world production and trade.
By James Cogan, 16 March 2009
Tariq Aziz, the former foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, was found guilty last week and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on charges stemming from the 1992 execution of 42 businessmen accused of manipulating prices. It was yet another legal travesty in the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Court.
By James Cogan, 14 March 2009
Muntadar al-Zaidi, the 29-year-old Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former US President George Bush during a Baghdad press conference in December, was sentenced to three years imprisonment on Thursday.
Amid continued US looting of cultural materials:
By Sandy English, 4 March 2009
The National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, which has been closed since it was looted and vandalized in the first days of the American invasion in 2003, reopened last week to pronounced controversy.
By Joseph Kishore, 28 February 2009
President Obama formally announced his administration’s plans for the continued US military occupation of Iraq on Friday. The plan will maintain present troop levels for one year, with a substantial military presence at least through the end of 2011.
By James Cogan, 25 February 2009
The January 31 Iraqi provincial elections strengthened the position of Prime Minister Maliki, but the outcome is not the product of popular enthusiasm for the election or Maliki’s party.
18 February 2009
Recent media reports exposing wholesale corruption in reconstruction efforts in Iraq are symptomatic of the criminal nature of the entire US intervention, which is continuing under the Obama administration.
By James Cogan, 5 February 2009
The low turnout for the elections held in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces last Saturday underscored the enduring hostility of the Iraqi people toward the US occupation and their alienation from the political system imposed on the country.
By James Cogan, 20 December 2008
The fall in world oil prices is slashing the revenues of the US-backed regime in Iraq, with immense implications for the mass of the Iraqi people, who face no improvement in the nightmarish conditions of life.
20 December 2008
A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on Bush’s “victory” visit to Iraq.
By James Cogan, 17 December 2008
Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the 29-year-old journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush during a press conference on Sunday, was hauled before an investigating judge of the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad yesterday.
By Bill Van Auken, 16 December 2008
After years of the Bush administration’s attempts to control the images of the Iraq war, an Iraqi journalist turned the tables Sunday through an act of protest that drew broad popular support throughout the Arab world.
By James Cogan, 4 December 2008
The Iraqi parliament’s ratification of a status of forces agreement and “Strategic Framework” with the US on November 27 ensures the ongoing occupation of the country and formalises its status as a US client state.
By James Cogan, 19 November 2008
The cabinet of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accepted the final draft of a bilateral security agreement with the United States and it will be voted on in the parliament next Monday.
By James Cogan, 31 October 2008
Progress toward the signing of a bilateral US-Iraqi security agreement sanctioning a continued American military presence in Iraq has halted again.
By James Cogan, 21 October 2008
Tens of thousands of Iraqis marched from the working class districts of Sadr City to the centre of Baghdad on Saturday to denounce moves by the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to finalise a security agreement with the Bush administration.
By James Cogan, 3 October 2008
Any global economic downturn will inevitably deepen the social divide, setting the stage for volatile eruptions of political discontent and opposition against both the US presence and all the factions of the Iraqi elite.
By James Cogan, 6 September 2008
The ceremony held last Monday to formally transfer Anbar province to Iraqi government forces is being held up by the most vociferous defenders of the Iraq war as the crowning glory of the Bush administration’s “surge."
By James Cogan, 20 August 2008
On August 6, the Iraqi parliament adjourned for a five-week summer break without passing the legislation needed to hold provincial elections by the scheduled date of October 1. At the heart of the impasse were differences over the future of the northern oil-rich province of Tamim and its capital Kirkuk. In the two weeks since, the divisions have only widened.
Perle returns to the scene of the crime
By Tom Eley, 4 August 2008
Richard Perle, the “neocon” defense analyst who played an outspoken role in building the fraudulent case for the invasion of Iraq, is now poised to take a position with a private oil firm working in Iraq and Kazakhstan, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
By James Cogan, 2 August 2008
President George Bush made a brief four-minute statement on Thursday morning to announce that the last of the five army brigades and three marine regiments sent to Iraq as part of last year’s “surge” had returned to the US and also to foreshadow a further reduction in US troop numbers later in the year.
By James Cogan, 30 July 2008
A female suicide bomber detonated an explosion on Tuesday in the midst of a demonstration by over 5,000 Kurdish residents of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The carnage was horrific. Seventeen people were killed immediately and more than 47 others were wounded.
By David Walsh, 29 July 2008
American military officials acknowledged Sunday that three civilians killed by US soldiers June 25, described as “criminals” in an original press release, were “law-abiding” citizens on their way to work.
By James Cogan, 23 July 2008
The visit of US presidential candidate Barack Obama to Iraq on Monday underscores once again that the millions of American workers and youth who oppose militarism have been completely disenfranchised by the Democratic Party. The Illinois senator used the trip to make clear his commitment to the indefinite occupation of Iraq, as well as to agitate further for his policy of redeploying troops from the Middle East in order to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
By Patrick Martin, 22 July 2008
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, intervened in the US presidential campaign Sunday. Mullen gave an interview to Fox News in which he rejected the shift in US policy in Iraq proposed by Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in favor of continuing the policy laid down by the Bush administration and backed by the Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain.
By James Cogan, 19 July 2008
The plan to hold provincial elections on October 1 is provoking intense conflicts and preparing the conditions for renewed warfare between rival Iraqi factions.
By James Cogan, 14 July 2008
Negotiations are continuing between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on the terms of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) governing the ongoing presence of US troops in Iraq. The two governments are also formulating the wording of a “Strategic Framework” agreement, which will detail a long-term military relationship involving some form of US defence guarantee to Iraq and, in return, access to bases and facilities.
By David Walsh, 4 July 2008
The Bush administration publicly criticized a deal made between Hunt Oil of Dallas, Texas and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq last September for supposedly undermining Iraqi “national unity,” while privately officials were facilitating the oil firm’s activities, documents released this week by the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveal.
By Bill Van Auken, 1 July 2008
As the Iraqi regime formally opened the bidding for foreign oil companies to resume exploitation of the country’s oil wealth, it was revealed that US “advisers” played the leading role in drafting the contracting procedures and steering preferential deals to the big US energy conglomerates.
By James Cogan, 1 July 2008
An Iraqi intelligence assessment provides a chilling estimate of the slaughter of members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia during the US military and Iraqi government offensives this year into Basra, Baghdad’s Sadr City and the Marsh Arab city of Amarah. According to the Gulf News, it states that “more than 2,000 cadres from the Mahdi Army leadership were killed recently”.
By Bill Van Auken, 26 June 2008
A growing consensus has emerged within the US political establishment, extending to both major parties and the predominant sections of the mass media that the so-called “surge”—the Bush administration’s euphemism for military escalation—has “worked.”
By Sandy English, 24 June 2008
According to a report issued last week by the human rights organization Amnesty International, the plight of nearly 5 million Iraqis displaced from their homes since the American invasion of 2003 is worsening in nearly every respect.
By Bill Van Auken, 20 June 2008
Four major US, British and French oil companies are getting their hands on the petroleum reserves of Iraq for the first time in 36 years, based on no-bid contracts, the New York Times reported Thursday.
By James Cogan, 18 June 2008
Thousands of Iraqi government troops and interior ministry national police have deployed in force over the past four days into the southern city of Amarah, a stronghold of the Shiite movement loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and its Mahdi Army militia. The US military is backing the offensive with jet fighters, helicopter gunships and advisors.
By James Cogan, 13 June 2008
Bush administration officials have appeared before the media to make clear that—as far as the White House is concerned—the Iraqi parliament will ratify two agreements that sanction long-term military bases and the indefinite US use of Iraq’s territory and airspace.
By Bill Van Auken, 6 June 2008
The United States is demanding that Iraq grant it the authority to establish 50 permanent military bases scattered across the country, as well as other sweeping powers that would extend the present US military occupation indefinitely and formalize the country’s status as an American semi-colony.
By David Walsh, 31 May 2008
Tens of thousands of Iraqis protested in a number of cities Friday against the proposed agreement between the puppet regime of Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration that would codify a long-term US military occupation.
By James Cogan, 27 May 2008
The order by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that his Mahdi Army militiamen offer no resistance to the US occupation is being exploited by the American military and the Iraqi government to repress his supporters in the working class districts of Baghdad and other major cities.
By Joseph Kishore, 23 May 2008
US helicopters massacred at least eight civilians, including several children, in an operation in northern Iraq on Wednesday.
By James Cogan, 21 May 2008
More than 1,300 men have been detained by the US military and the Iraqi government in the northern city of Mosul over the past 10 days, as part of an operation ostensibly aimed at smashing the Sunni fundamentalist insurgent organisation, Al Qaeda in Iraq.
By David Walsh, 20 May 2008
The US military in Iraq announced Sunday that it had disciplined and sent home a soldier found to have used the Koran for target practice. A Sunni Arab militiaman collaborating with American forces found the copy of the Muslim holy book 10 days ago in a police station shooting range west of Baghdad.
By Joe Kay, 20 May 2008
United States occupying forces are holding about 500 juvenile prisoners in Iraq, and an additional 10 in Afghanistan, according to a document submitted by the US to the United Nations.
By James Cogan, 12 May 2008
Representatives of the Iraqi government and the Shiite Sadrist movement led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced on Saturday that an agreement had been reached to end the six-week siege by US and government forces of Sadr City—the Baghdad working class district of over two million people that is the Sadrists’ most important stronghold.
By Peter Symonds, 5 May 2008
US missile strikes on a small building adjacent to a major hospital in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Saturday left more than 20 people injured, destroyed ambulances and shook the entire neighbourhood. The incident provides a glimpse of the hellish conditions created for residents of the huge working class slum through the month-long siege by American and Iraqi government forces.
By James Cogan, 3 May 2008
The trial that began this week of Tariq Aziz on the charge of genocide is a particularly vindictive act on the part of the Bush administration and its puppet government in Iraq. The court is trying him and seven other former Iraqi government leaders for the 1992 execution of 42 businessmen accused of price-fixing. If found guilty, Aziz faces the death penalty.