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Archives: August 2004

Franklin Met With Naor Gilon Israeli

Franklin Met with Naor Gilon The Israeli foreign ministry has confirmed that Lawrence Franklin, the Pentagon’s top Iran desk officer, met repeatedly in Washington with “Naor Gilon, head of the political department…

Republican Convention We Did Not Seek

Republican Convention “We did not seek this War” The Republican National Convention in New York was All 9/11 All the Time. As one would expect, Senator John McCain and former New York…

Muqtada Plans Political Party Ap

Muqtada Plans Political Party AP reports that the young Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his followers to cease fighting American and Coaltion troops and Iraqi police. He plans, his aides…

Browns Public Diplomacy Press Review

Brown’s “Public Diplomacy Press Review A really useful compendium of news items related to public diplomacy and Middle East policy is sent out by email by John Brown, a former Foreign Service…

Hollings On Aipac I Saw This In Press

Hollings on AIPAC I saw this in the press at the time, but a reader reminded me of it. Senator Hollings is retiring and speaking his mind. In my experience, this sentiment…

Johnson Fbi Furious At Leak Many

Johnson: FBI Furious at Leak Many thanks to Ken Henderson for the following: ‘ In a later broadcast on MSNBC, former CIA officer and NBC analyst Larry Johnson reported that for months…

Baldauf Najaf Standoff Helped Muqtada

Baldauf: Najaf Standoff Helped Muqtada CSM journalist Scott Baldauf, who has his ear to the ground in Iraq in a way that US officialdom seldom does, believes that Muqtada al-Sadr benefited politically…

Newsweek Franklin Confesses Aipac

Newsweek: Franklin Confesses AIPAC Under Separate FBI Investigation Laura Rozen directs our attention to the new Newsweek article by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, which has several new details on the Lawrence…

Pentagonisrael Spying Case Expands

Pentagon/Israel Spying Case Expands: Fomenting a War on Iran Here is my take on the Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal in the Pentagon. It is an echo of the one-two punch secretly planned…

Israeli Spy In Pentagon Linked To

Israeli Spy in Pentagon Linked to AIPAC CBS is reporting that a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst detailed to Undersecretary of Defense for Planning Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans is under FBI…

Thousands Stream Into Shrine Of Ali

Thousands Stream into Shrine of Ali Muqtada orders Followers to Disarm CNN’s Kianne Sadeq continues her excellent reportage from Najaf. She and her team report that supporters of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani…

Cole On Lehrer Cnn I Will Be On Lehrer

Cole on Lehrer, CNN I will be on the Lehrer News Hour tonight talking about Sistani and the settlement he has reached with Muqtada al-Sadr. Also on CNN Headline News either at…

Sistani Arrives In Najaf Dozens Dead

Sistani Arrives in Najaf Dozens Dead in Kufa Mosque Mortar attack Abdul Hussein al-Obeidi of AP reports that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has arrived in Najaf and gone to a house about…

Cole As Issue In Oklahoma Senate

Cole as Issue in Oklahoma Senate Campaign In this month’s Wired magazine, an article entitled “The Dean Machine Marches On” looks at the internet, blogging, and political campaigns. In the profile on…

Sistani In Najaf Today As I Write Very

Sistani in Najaf Today As I write very early Thursday morning, Sistani ‘s convoy had left Basra on its way to Najaf several hours to the north. Al-Jazeerah says his convoy is…

Iraqi Police Fire On Kufa

Iraqi Police fire on Kufa Demonstrators Peaceful, civilian Shiite demonstrators in Kufa heeding Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s call for a march on Najaf (which is just next door to Kufa) were fired…

Sistani Returns Launches March Sadrist

Sistani Returns, Launches March Sadrist Ceasefire Announced Al-Hayat is reporting that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani defied his physicians’ advice and insisted on returning to Iraq midday on Wednesday. He landed in Kuwait…

Attempted Assassinations Of Ministers

Attempted Assassinations of Ministers Fail Iraqi Troops Move into Najaf: “We are in the Last Hours” Reuters and AFP report via Dawn that the assassination attempt on the Minister of Education, reported…

George H

George H.W. Bush on Why Invading Iraq was a Bad Idea George Gedda of AP reminds us of the opposition to an American invasion of Iraq expressed after the Gulf War by…

Fighting In Iraq Reuters Is Reporting

The Fighting in Iraq Reuters is reporting that guerrillas detonated a car bomb early on Tuesday, killing 2 persons and wounding 3 others. They were trying to assassinate Education Minister Sami al-Mudhaffar,…

Bush And Iraqi Soccer From Bush Press

Bush and Iraqi Soccer From Bush press conference on Tuesday ‘ QUESTION: You’re not going to Athens this week, are you? BUSH: Athens, Texas? (LAUGHTER) QUESTION: The Olympics in Greece. BUSH: Oh,…

5 Us Soldiers Killed In 24 Hours 1

5 US Soldiers Killed in 24 Hours, 1 Wounded Australian Broadcasting reports that guerrillas killed one US soldier in Mosul on Sunday with a roadside bomb. Guerrillas on Saturday killed three US…

Egyptian Mufti Volcano Of Anger Over

Egyptian Mufti: Volcano of Anger over Najaf The claim by Mahdi Army fighters that US bombing damaged part of a wall of the Ali shrine complex could be explosive. Wire services report:…

Bushs Superficial Wounds In Vietnam

Bush’s Superficial Wounds in the Vietnam Era The debate that a handful of Texas multi-millionnaires close to the Bush family have cleverly manufactured over John Kerry’s war record is absurd in every…

Has Shrine Been Looted Shrine Of Ali

Has the Shrine been Looted? The shrine of Ali was not only a tomb with an attached mosque. It was also a museum. Since being built in its modern form in the…

Continued Violence In Iraq Major

Continued Violence in Iraq Major violence wracked Najaf again on Saturday. Mahdi militiamen launched mortar shells at US military positions, and they fired back, starting a battle that lasted for about 45…

Class Generation And Neo Khomeinism

Class, Generation and Neo-Khomeinism Khaled Yacoub Oweis of Reuters has an excellent piece today in which he points out that even if the U.S. can force Muqtada al-Sadr and his men out…

Explosions In Najaf Situation

Explosions in Najaf: Situation Unsettled Reuters is reporting four loud explosions in Najaf early Saturday morning. Heavy fighting continued in both the south and the north of the city until Friday afternoon.…

Breaking News Mahdi Army Departs

Breaking News: Mahdi Army Departs Shrine Al-Jazeerah and the American cable news shows are reporting that Mahdi Army fighters handed over the keys of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf to a…

Could Najaf Cost Bush Election Even

Could Najaf Cost Bush the Election? Even though the crisis at the Shrine of Ali seems to have passed, the U.S. military actions in the holy city of Najaf have been deeply…

Us Attacks In Najaf Sadr City Al Hayat

US Attacks in Najaf, Sadr City Al-Hayat: The US military launched a two-pronged attack on the Sadrists on Thursday. They attacked in Najaf, but also in East Baghdad or Sadr City. This…

What Does Muqtada Al Sadr Want Tom

What does Muqtada al-Sadr Want? Tom Engelhardt asks hard questions at the indispensable Tomdispatch.com about journalistic language concerning the Iraq crisis. How do we characterize Muqtada al-Sadr? Our military operations in the…

National Council Process Derailed

National Council Process Derailed Basra Delegates Withdrawn The national convention of some 1200 delegates to choose an interim national council was beset with several setbacks. It initially had to be postponed two…

Babylon And Polish Troops 2 Dead 5

Babylon and the Polish Troops 2 Dead, 5 Wounded in War-Related Accident Reuters reports that guerillas fired at a Polish convoy late Wednesday or early Thursday, so startling the drivers that an…

Outing Of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan

The Outing of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan: State of Play Journalism is often defined as an attempt to “catch history on the run.” We historians, when writing history, most often have at…

Muqtada Declines To See Delegation

Muqtada declines to See Delegation Marines Launched Attack without Approval Alex Berenson and John Burns of the New York Times make the explosive allegation that local Marines in Najaf launched the attack…

Readings On Iraq Readers Often Ask Me

Readings on Iraq Readers often ask me to recommend books to read, which are fairly readable, on Iraq. Being an academic, I’m not sure I’m always the best judge of what is…

New Clashes In Najaf 3 Us Troops

New Clashes in Najaf 3 US Troops Announced Killed 19 Iraqis Dead, 101 Wounded Dean Yates of Reuters reports that fighting broke out in Najaf again on Monday between US troops and…

Harkin Cheney Is Cowardly Iowa Senator

Harkin: Cheney is Cowardly Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has let Dick Cheney have it over Cheney’s questioning of John Kerry’s ability to understand the war on terrorism–calling the vice president a “coward”.…

Majority Report Have Been Doing Lot Of

Majority Report Have been doing a lot of radio, which I enjoy because often the discussion can get to the bottom of things. Will be on Majority Report at Air America with…

Wapo And Nyt Duel On Sigificance Of

WaPo and NYT Duel on Sigificance of National Congress One of the wonderful things about the internet is that it is easier than ever to see lots of news reports on the…

Fadlallah Americans Must Be Forced To

Fadlallah: Americans must be Forced to Withdraw Just saw an interview on al-Jazeerah with the Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah, who has been in Beirut since 1965 but is from…

Al Haeri Weighs In Al Jazeerahs Crawl

Al-Haeri Weighs in Al-Jazeerah’s crawl is saying that Grand Ayatollah Kadhim al-Haeri, based in Qom, has issued a fatwa or ruling that no Iraqi Muslim may fight another Muslim on behalf of…

Thousands Stream To Najaf Thousands Of

Thousands Stream to Najaf Thousands of Shiites are streaming toward Najaf in hopes of forming a human shield around Muqtada al-Sadr, according to al-Hayat. Many have already gathered at the gates to…

Oil Pipeline Closed Costing Iraqi

Oil Pipeline Closed, Costing Iraqi Government $30 Million a day The continued instability in the Shiite areas of southern Iraq, especially threats of sabotage by Mahdi Army fighters, has led Iraqi authorities…

Why Does Mahdi Army Fight Mariam Fam

Why does the Mahdi Army fight? Mariam Fam of AP talks about the cultural dynamics around the Army of the Mahdi, the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr. She does a good job of…

Muqtada Press Conference No Ordinary

Muqtada Press Conference: “No Ordinary Politics Under Occupation” The one-day truce in Najaf has collapsed. And, even the council of tribal chieftains in the Middle Euphrates, a previously pro-American group, has issued…

Us War Planes Bomb Samarra Al Jazeerah

US War Planes Bomb Samarra Al-Jazeerah also showed footage of the US bombing of the city of Samarra (north of Baghdad) on Friday night or early Saturday morning, and the huge craters…

Muqtada To Allawi Resign In Press

Muqtada to Allawi: Resign! In a press conference on Friday, Muqtada al-Sadr called on the caretaker government of Iyad Allawi to resign: “I advise the dictatorial, agent government to resign … the…

Kadhim On Najaf Crisis Abbas Kadhim

Kadhim on the Najaf Crisis Abbas Kadhim, an Iraqi Shiite scholar who knows Najaf intimately, has published an op-ed that questions the common wisdom about the movement of Muqtada al-Sadr. He points…

Muqtada Wounded By Us Bombing Muqtada

Muqtada Wounded by US Bombing Muqtada al-Sadr was wounded by US bombardment of Najaf on Friday morning, according to Reuters. Sadr spokesman Ahmad al-Shinabi told Reuters, “Sayyed Moqtada was wounded in American…

223 Dead 500 Wounded In Clashes Across

223 dead, 500 wounded in clashes across Iraq US marines launch major assault on Najaf The headline, which is perfectly serviceable, is ripped off from a Pakistani newspaper mainly based on Agence…

Endgame In Najaf From Arabic And

Endgame in Najaf? From Arabic and English radio and television broadcasts, including al-Jazeerah: The Marines have completely surrounded Najaf and cut off all the roads leading into the shrine of Imam Ali…

Fierce Fighting In Amara Marines

Fierce Fighting in Amara Marines Prepare for final Push in Najaf Fresh explosions and machine gun fire rocked Najaf early Thursday morning. On Wednesday, fighting in 5 Iraqi cities (excluding Najaf) left…

Kerry And Bush On Iraq War Bush Asked

Kerry and Bush on Iraq War Bush asked Kerry if he would still have voted for the Iraq War if he had known in fall of 2002 everything he knows now about…

Correction To Nyt Re Sistani Alex

Correction to the NYT re: Sistani Alex Berenson’s otherewise fine article on the situation in Najaf contains an important error. This mistake may well not be Mr. Berenson’s fault. We professional writers…

Mahdi Army Fights On In Najaf Sadr

Mahdi Army Fights on in Najaf, Sadr City The US military pounded Mahdi Army positions in the vast cemetery of Najaf again on Tuesday, with artillery and aerial bombardment. The Americans also…

Iraq National Congress Office Closed

Iraq National Congress Office Closed Al-Hayat reports via Agence France Presse that the head of the office of Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress in Baghdad has been told by the caretaker Iraqi…

Pow Mistreatment Issue Between Us And

POW Mistreatment an Issue between US and Iraq, Denmark and UK Death Penalty Condemned by Danish Defense Minister Danish Colonel Henrik Flach said Tuesday, “The British treat their prisoners in a manner…

No Pakistani Official Made This

“No Pakistani Official Made this Intelligence Leak” AP reports that Pakistani officials continue to insist that the leak of double agent Muhammad Naeem Nur Khan’s name to the press on Aug. 1…

Update On Khan Scandal We Know That

Update on Khan Scandal We know that the Pakistani government has complained that the Bush administration blew the cover of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. Not only are the Pakistanis annoyed by the…

Bush Administration Outing Of Double

Bush Administration Outing of Double Agent “Made no Sense”: Baer Jim Lobe has a good summary of the state of play in the scandal of the Bush administration outing of double agent…

1 British Soldier Dead 5 Wounded In

1 British Soldier Dead, 5 Wounded in Basra Clashes Najaf in Flames; Oil Production Stopped Early Tuesday Baghdad time, there was talk of a truce in Najaf, after a fifth day of…

Provincial News Sunni Shiite Fighting

Provincial News: Sunni-Shiite fighting in Yusufiyah An informed reader writes: ‘ [Last Friday] there were the first violent clashes, practically a battle, between Sunnis and Shiites in Yusufiyah, with several casualties. The…

Bush Administration Outing Of Khan

Bush Administration outing of Khan Enabled 5 al-Qaeda Cell Members to Escape Capture Neville Dean of PA News reports that a magistrate has given British police only until Tuesday to finish questioning…

Fighting Rages On In Iraq Ap Gives

Fighting Rages on in Iraq AP gives a good overview. Baghdad On Monday morning guerrillas detonated a car bomb outside the house of Diyala provincial deputy Governor Aqil Hamid al-Adili. He escaped…

Chalabi Arrest Warrants Three Judge

Chalabi Arrest Warrants A three-judge panel on Sunday issued a warrant for the arrests of Ahmad Chalabi and his nephew Salem Chalabi. Ahmad Chalabi was in Iran as part of an Iraqi…

Cnn Transcripts On Khan Case From Cnn

CNN Transcripts on Khan Case From CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Sunday August 8: ‘ BLITZER: Let’s talk about some of the people who have been picked up, mostly in Pakistan,…

Cnn On Khan Scandal Has It Prevented

CNN on Khan Scandal: Has it Prevented the Capture of Bin Laden? The story of how the Bush administration prematurely outed Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a double agent working for Pakistan against…

Bush Outing Of Khan And Faustian

Bush Outing of Khan and the Faustian Bargain David Johnston of the New York Times tried to get further details of the Bush administration outing of Pakistani double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor…

Continued Shiite Clashes With Us Najaf

Continued Shiite Clashes with US Najaf Since the recent round of fighting began in Najaf, 5 US Marines have been killed and 12 wounded in Najaf governorate. AFP reports that hundreds of…

Sistanis Trip To Uk Fayyad Likely

Sistani’s Trip to the UK Fayyad Likely Successor Ma`d Fayyad of Ash-Sharq al-Awsat reveals some of the background to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s trip to the UK. He says that it has…

Did Bush Administration Burn Key Al

Did the Bush Administration Burn a Key al-Qaeda Double Agent? Simon Cameron-Moore and Peter Graff of Reuters reveal the explosive information that the Bush administration blew the cover Monday of double agent…

Us Attack Uncivilized Jafari Fresh

US Attack “Uncivilized”: Jafari Fresh Violence in Sadr City 15 US Soldiers Wounded, 3 Dead in recent Fighting Before I go over the details, here is my reading of what is going…

Italians Battle Sadrists In Nasiriyah

Italians Battle Sadrists in Nasiriyah Late wire services on Friday afternoon in the US report that Nasiriyah was quiet after fighting earlier. Reader Anne Aldridge kindly summarizes a recent ANSA report from…

Muqtada Us Is Greatest Of Satans

Muqtada: US is “Greatest of Satans” Sistani in London for Treatment Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has been flown to London for medical treatment for a heart condition, removing him from the Najaf…

17 Dead Dozens Wounded As Iraqi South

17 Dead, Dozens Wounded as Iraqi South Erupts 2 US Troops Killed, 5 Wounded in Najaf Alex Berenson of the New York Times reports that the young radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr…

Clinton On Five Threats Facing Us Bill

Clinton on the Five Threats Facing US Bill Clinton said in a radio interview on Thursday that the Bush administration had made a grave mistake by turning US security with regard to…

Presbyterians Against Settler

Presbyterians Against Settler Colonialism The Presbyterian Church’s stance against companies that contribute to suffering in Israel and Palestine is among the most admirable and hopeful signs I’ve seen in American civil society…

2 Marines Killed 4 Wounded Near Qaim

2 Marines Killed, 4 Wounded Near Qaim 14 Iraqis Killed, 48 Wounded in Mosul Warfare Jackie Spinner of the Washington Post writes that guerrillas detonated roadside bombs near Qaim close to the…

Brown Excludes Iraqi Group As

Brown excludes Iraqi Group as “Dangerous” in Memphis AP reports from Memphis that a Memphis councilman barred a visiting Iraqi delegation on a State Department tour of the United States from city…

Coalition Troops Damage Babylon

Coalition Troops Damage Babylon Reuters reports the outrage of Iraqi Minister of Culture Mufid al-Jazaeri at the damage he said is being done to the site of the ancient city of Babylon…

Jones Huffman Prize Its Been Nearly

Jones-Huffman Prize It’s been nearly a year since Naval Reserve Lt. Kylan Jones-Huffman was killed at al-Hilla in Iraq. He had studied Middle Eastern languages and was a Naval Academy graduate and…

4 Us Troops Killed Blasts Attacks Kill

4 US Troops Killed; Blasts & Attacks Kill and Wound in Baghdad, Baquba, Mosul AP reports that guerrillas killed four US troops in separate incidents in Baghdad and al-Anbar province on Monday…

Hostage Taking Demonstrations In Najaf

Hostage-Taking, Demonstrations in Najaf and Karbala In the holy city of Najaf, Shiite militiamen of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army took 18 policemen hostage, in hopes of forcing them to release jailed colleagues…

Cheney Blames Democrats For High Oil

Cheney Blames Democrats for High Oil Prices (!) US Vice President Dick Cheney lambasted the Democrats on Tuesday for causing high petroleum prices. I don’t often find Dick Cheney amusing, but I…

Do People Want To Hurt Us Because Were

Do People Want to Hurt us Because We’re on the Offensive? A sound bite from President Bush on Monday strikes me as emblematic of the country’s current crisis. He said, “It is…

Marine Kirkuk Police Iraqi National

Marine, Kirkuk Police, Iraqi National Guard Killed Agence France Press reported that guerrillas killed a US Marine Tuesday in al-Anbar Province during ‘security and stability operations.’ Ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports that guerrillas ambushed…

Series Of Arrests In Pakistan Reveals

Series of Arrests in Pakistan reveals Plot to bomb Finance Centers The uncovering of a possible al-Qaeda plot against key US financial centers in New York and Washington began with the arrest…

Muqtadas House Besieged By Marines Us

Muqtada’s House Besieged by Marines US Marines and Iraqi National Guard troops headed for the house of Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday, possibly in an another attempt to arrest him, provoking a firefight…

Muslim Clerics Decry Targetting Of

Muslim Clerics Decry Targetting of Christians Iraq’s major religious leaders all strongly condemned Sunday’s bombing of Iraqi churches. Newsday writes, ‘ Iraq’s top Shia Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, condemned the…

At Least 28 Dead Over 100 Wounded In

At Least 28 Dead, Over 100 Wounded in Iraq Attacks 1 US Soldier from 1st ID among Killed Early Sunday in Mosul, guerrillas attacked a police station, killing 5 persons, including 2…

Electricity Riots In Najaf Amara

Electricity Riots in Najaf Amara Council Dissolved Al-Zaman: For the second straight day on Sunday, angry crowds attacked the Electricity Office in downtown Najaf, protesting interruptions in the electricity supply that stretched…

Rocco Martino I Am Source Of False

Rocco Martino: ‘I am the Source of the False Niger/Iraq Uranium Story’ The Sunday Times on Sunday and the Financial Times on Monday report that an Italian businessman and fraudster named Rocco…

Allawi Snubs Iran Caretaker Prime

Allawi Snubs Iran Caretaker Prime Minister Iyad Allawi cancelled his planned visit to Iran, even as he was being feted in Kuwait. He has sent a ministerial delegation instead, according to al-Hayat,…