Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:13:45 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Sunday, January 02, 2005

Iraq's civilian dead get no hearing in the United States: Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs is concerned about civilian deaths in Iraq, and gets an article pulished -- in Lebanon's Daily Star, apparently not picked up elsewhere except by peace groups.  "Evidence is mounting that America's war in Iraq has killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and perhaps well over 100,000. Yet this carnage is systematically ignored in the United States, where the media and government portray a war in which there are no civilian deaths ..

In late October, the British medical journal Lancet published a study of civilian deaths in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion began. The sample survey documented an extra 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths compared to the death rate in the preceding year, when Saddam Hussein was still in power .. America's public reaction has been as remarkable as the Lancet study, for the reaction has been no reaction. On Oct. 29 the vaunted New York Times ran a single story of 770 words on page 8 of the paper. The Times reporter apparently did not interview a single Bush administration or U.S. military official. No follow-up stories or editorials appeared, and no Times reporters assessed the story on the ground. Coverage in other U.S. papers was similarly meager. The Washington Post, also on Oct. 29, carried a single 758-word story on page 16.  Recent reporting on the bombing of Fallujah has also been an exercise in self-denial. ..

Violence is only one reason for the increase in civilian deaths in Iraq. Children in urban war zones die in vast numbers from diarrhea, respiratory infections and other causes, owing to unsafe drinking water, lack of refrigerated foods, and acute shortages of blood and basic medicines in clinics and hospitals ..

The U.S. is killing massive numbers of Iraqi civilians, embittering the population and many in the Islamic world, and laying the ground for escalating violence and death. .. The American fantasy of a final battle, in Fallujah or elsewhere, or the capture of some terrorist mastermind, perpetuates a cycle of bloodletting that puts the world in peril.  Worse still, American public opinion, media, and the recent election victory of the Bush administration have left the world's most powerful military without practical restraint."

  6:17:06 PM  permalink  

Israelis hasten land grab in shadow of wall: Even today, settlements are expanding, with US blessing:  "The bulldozers were preparing the ground for hundreds of new homes, despite the Israeli government's claim that it is not expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Like other building work along the route of the barrier, it seems to be an attempt to ensure that the land between the fence and the 1967 border remains in Israeli hands in any final agreement with the Palestinians. .. [Zufim and] at least five other sites along the barrier have settlement work in progress. Israeli human rights groups say the government appears to be racing to fill in the gap between the barrier and the Israeli border before a US team arrives next year to mark out the final limits of settlement expansion. ..

Yehezkel Lein, a researcher for another Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, said the military government in the occupied territories had issued permits for the work.  He added: "In the plan for Zufim there is an extension to the north of the settlement that was already approved. There is also another expansion to the east. But there is no territorial contiguity between Zufim and the new construction, so it is really a new settlement." ..

Last week the US national security council adviser on the Middle East, Elliott Abrams, told a closed meeting of Jewish leaders that Washington saw settlements to the east of the barrier as ultimately intended for removal. But he said Israel would be allowed to hold on those to the west, which include Zufim. "

  5:22:41 PM  permalink  

Tsunami cisaster may be Sweden's Sept. 11: "The confirmed Swedish death toll is 59, but more than 3,500 Swedes who were vacationing in Thailand and Sri Lanka are missing. Authorities here believe a majority of them are dead. .. Police said that 10,000 out of an estimated 25,000 Swedes who were vacationing in Asia had arrived home in the last three days. As many as 50 or 60 of them were young children whose parents were dead or missing, police officials said. .. ''You'd have to say we haven't seen this level of loss of life since our last war in 1814," he added, referring to a conflict between Sweden and Denmark."

  2:18:11 PM  permalink  

Saddam planned the current insurgency in Iraq: "A trove of secret intelligence reports shows how Saddam Hussein planned the current insurgency in Iraq Long before the invasion that toppled his regime was even launched .. In the fall of 2002, several months before the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein dispatched more than 1,000 security and intelligence officers to two military facilities near Baghdad where they underwent two months of guerrilla training, according to a secret U.S. military intelligence report. Anticipating his defeat, intelligence reports show, the Iraqi dictator began laying the foundation for an insurgency as Washington worked to convince the United Nations and allies around the world that Saddam had to go."  2:13:59 PM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:13:45 PM.