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Max Forte's List: Iraq: The Aftermath of Continuing Conflict

    • Roger Bacon, whose son Major Matthew Bacon was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in 2005, said: "This was an illegal war, and there is still a great deal of anger. It showed today.

      "The anger was directed at Tony Blair for taking us into this mess."

    • His sentiments were echoed by Deirdre Gover, the mother of 30-year-old Kristian, who died in a helicopter accident in 2004.

      She said: "Tony Blair deceived us on weapons of mass destruction. He should be held responsible for the conflict. He lied to his cabinet, to his government, to parliament and to us".

    • Striking a Balance: A New American Security
    • Date:
        June 11, 2009 - 7:45am - 7:00pm
       

        Location:
        Willard InterContinental Hotel
      1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
      Grand Ballroom
      Washington, DC 20004

       

           
       

      Striking a Balance: A New American Security was an all-day CNAS conference highlighting the major foreign policy and national security challenges facing our nation in the critical time ahead.

    • INTRODUCTION AND OPENING REMARKS

       

      The Honorable Dr. Richard Danzig
      Chairman of the Board, Center for a New American Security

       

      Video | Audio

       

      Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns
      Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
      Board of Directors, CNAS

       

      Video | Audio

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    • BAGHDAD – A suicide bomber driving a dynamite-laden truck destroyed a key bridge Saturday on a highway used by the departing U.S. military, while separate attacks killed nine Iraqis, most of them security force members, police said.
    • There were no casualties in the blast that destroyed the bridge outside the city of Ramadi, which is about 70 miles (125 kilometers) west of Baghdad, said a local police officer. The highway is used heavily by the U.S. military to transport equipment out of the country, and is also a major roadway for civilian traffic.
    • Also Saturday, an attack on an Iraqi army convoy just outside of the city of Fallujah killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded 14, said a police officer in the city, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad.

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    •  Washington Post Foreign Service 
       Sunday, October 18, 2009
    • RAMADI, Iraq, Oct. 17 -- Insurgents detonated a truck loaded with five tons of explosives Saturday on a bridge here that links western Iraq to Jordan and Syria, pulverizing part of the overpass and paralyzing traffic for hours.
    • Another, smaller bridge was also destroyed in Fallujah, where a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi military patrol on the highway, killing four soldiers and wounding 14 others, said Sulaiman al-Dulaimi, a spokesman for the Fallujah General Hospital.

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    • "My soldiers asked me whether we have succeeded in our mission and I told them flat out 'Yes, we did'," said Williams recalling a Sept. 16 meeting attended by the company's 135 soldiers just days before the first of its platoons left Iraq for home. 

       "We provided an umbrella of security for Hurriyah's 400,000 people, refurbished 10 schools, two clinics and built three soccer fields and a service station for municipality trucks," said Williams. 

       "But the most important thing is that we are taking everyone home alive and well." 

    • A pair of suicide car bombings Sunday devastated the heart of Iraq's capital, killing at least 147 people in the country's deadliest attack in more than two years. The bombs targeted two government buildings and called into question Iraq's ability to protect its people as U.S. forces withdraw.
    • The bombings show that insurgents still have the ability to launch horrific attacks even as violence has dropped dramatically in Iraq. Many fear such attacks will only increase as Iraq prepares for crucial January elections.
    • The dead included 35 employees at the Ministry of Justice and at least 25 staff members of the Baghdad Provincial Council

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    • Former top executives at Blackwater Worldwide say the U.S. security contractor sent about $1 million to its Iraq office with the intention of paying off officials in the country who were angry about the fatal shootings of 17 civilians by Blackwater employees, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
    • Then the shooting by Blackwater guards in Baghdad's Nisoor Square in September 2007 left 17 civilians dead, further strained relations between Baghdad and Washington and led U.S. prosecutors to bring charges against the Blackwater contractors involved.
    • But Xe continues to provide security for diplomats in other nations, most notably in Afghanistan.

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    • The awarding of development rights over the huge West Qurna oilfield in southern Iraq to Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell last Thursday once again underscores the criminal character of the continuing US-led occupation. As the direct result of the Iraq war, major American and other transnational energy conglomerates are now gaining control over some the largest oilfields in the world.
    • Before the US invasion in 2003, rights over West Qurna had been awarded by the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein to the Russian oil firm, Lukoil. The pro-US puppet regime in Baghdad has torn up all pre-war contracts.
    • Exxon-Mobil is the first US-based oil giant to benefit. Under the terms of a 20-year contract, Exxon-Mobil and Shell plan to boost daily production at West Qurna from less than 300,000 barrels to 2.3 million barrels per day over the next six years. As well as the Iraqi government compensating the companies for the cost of upgrading the field - which may run as high as $50 billion - they will be paid $1.90 for each barrel extracted, or some $1.5 billion per year. Exxon-Mobil holds an 80 percent stake and Shell the remaining 20 percent.

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    • Graphic torture allegations emerge as lawyer warns of hundreds of legal cases
    • By Robert Verkaik
       

        
       

      Sunday, 15 November 2009

    • Disturbing graphic allegations of sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi civilians by British soldiers are among 33 new torture cases being investigated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

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    • By David Randall
       

        
       

      Sunday, 15 November 2009

    • Evidence was growing this weekend that babies born in the Iraqi city of Fallujah – scene in 2004 of one of the few set-piece battles of the invasion – are exhibiting high rates of mortality and birth defects.
    • In September this year, say campaigners, 170 children were born at Fallujah General Hospital, 24 per cent of whom died within seven days. Three-quarters of these exhibited deformities, including "children born with two heads, no heads, a single eye in their foreheads, or missing limbs". The comparable data for August 2002 – before the invasion – records 530 births, of whom six died and only one of whom was deformed.

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    • BAGHDAD – A stepped-up campaign by Iraq's prime minister against Saddam Hussein loyalists is alienating Sunni Muslims and stoking tensions between them and the majority Shiites ahead of key national elections.
    • n its latest anti-Baathist attack, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated government put three men on state television Sunday to confess their alleged role in planning suicide attacks in Baghdad last month. The three, all in detention and dressed in orange prison jumpsuits, said the bombings were ordered by Saddam's Baath Party.
    • Reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites has been an elusive goal, seen as critical for Iraqi's stability — and it takes on added urgency with American forces now scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

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    • DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press
    • LONDON – Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised the issue of Iraq with the U.K. hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, Britain's former ambassador told an inquiry into the Iraq war Thursday.
    • Christopher Meyer, who served as then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's envoy to Washington between 1997 and 2003, said he spoke with Rice on Sept. 11, 2001.

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    • BAGHDAD – Turning on their TVs during the long holiday weekend, Iraqis were greeted by a familiar if unexpected face from their brutal past: Saddam Hussein.

       

      The late Iraqi dictator is lauded on a mysterious satellite channel that began broadcasting on the Islamic calendar's anniversary of his 2006 execution.

    • No one seems to know who is bankrolling the so-called Saddam Channel
    • The Associated Press tracked down a man in Damascus, Syria named Mohammed Jarboua, who claimed to be its chairman.

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    • SINAN SALAHEDDIN and TAREK EL-TABLAWY, Associated Press
    • BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials cheered and clapped as the first oil field up for bid went to a major international consortium at the opening of the country's biggest postwar auction Friday. But from there, the chill set in.
    • Oil executives from around the world made deals on only two fields, both in Iraq's relatively stable south, while shunning six others in regions with sporadic violence — and where the risk outweighs the profits that the Iraqi government is offering.

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    • October 7, 2002
    • President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat  
       Remarks by the President on Iraq
       Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal
       Cincinnati, Ohio
    • 8:02 P.M. EDT

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    • December 22, 2004
    • So it turns out Pottery Barn doesn't even have a rule that says, "You break it, you own it." According to a company spokesperson, "in the rare instance that something is broken in the store, it's written off as a loss." Yet the nonexistent policy of a store selling $80 corkscrews continues to wield more influence in the United States than the Geneva Conventions and the US Army's Law of Land Warfare combined. As Bob Woodward has noted, Colin Powell invoked "the Pottery Barn rule" before the invasion, while John Kerry pledged his allegiance to it during the first presidential debate.

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    • REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press
    • BAGHDAD – Iraqis seeking justice for 17 people shot dead at a Baghdad intersection responded with bitterness and outrage Friday at a U.S. judge's decision to throw out a case against a Blackwater security team accused in the killings.
    • The Iraqi government vowed to pursue the case, which became a source of contention between the U.S. and the Iraqi government. Many Iraqis also held up the judge's decision as proof of what they'd long believed: U.S. security contractors were above the law.

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