Basic Documents
Context for the End The War First Effort
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Onsite documents (with links to sources) and links to offsite documents
(reverse chronological order)
(author links are to the best information we can find on the author)

For an excellent compilation of public opinion poll results over the years on the following topics:

Official U.S. Iraq-Related Policy (General)     (TOP)

  1. Operation Iraqi Freedom: Operational Update: Maj. Gen. Bergner, Dr. al-Sheikly, 7 May 2008
    Maj. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, MNF-I, and Dr. Tasheem al-Sheikly, Iraqi government spokesman
    This briefing includes descriptions of huge amounts of ordinance uncovered during the many weeks of fighting that followed the government's initial March attack on the Mahdi Army in Basra and Sadr City. The word "Iran" appears in this briefing only in the words of questioners, except for one instance in which the government spokesmen mentions a single individual being "used" by the Iranian Quods force. Although a questioner asks about a "neighboring country's" interference, and the General responds "I think everyone takes those threats very seriously. And certainly the prime minister’s recent initiative that the Government of Iraq has undertaken to discuss directly with their neighbor the flow of illegal arms and the training and funding of extremists here in Iraq signals the seriousness that the Government of Iraq takes concerning those unhelpful influences," it should be noted that a government delegation to Tehran to do exactly this several days before returned to Iraq and withdrew their accusations.
    (See also an article about this lack of evidence on Iranian ordinance.)
  2. Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon's Hidden Hand, 20 April 2008
    David Barstow, New York Times
    This article is important enough to warrant classification as a basic document in describing American Iraq policy. It describes the psyops campaign being run by the Bush administration starting very early on. " Torie Clarke, the former public relations executive who oversaw the Pentagon's dealings with the analysts as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, had come to her job with distinct ideas about achieving what she called 'information dominance.' In a spin-saturated news culture, she argued, opinion is swayed most by voices perceived as authoritative and utterly independent. And so even before Sept. 11, she built a system within the Pentagon to recruit 'key influentials' -- movers and shakers from all walks who with the proper ministrations might be counted on to generate support for Mr. Rumsfeld's priorities." Virtually all these people had business ties to the Pentagon's contract-granting function, but though they spread out over the airwaves as independent experts on terrorism and the war, this conflict-of-interest was never mentioned to the public, and often not even to the networks that hired them. See also:
  3. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker Remark on Iraq, 9 April 2008
    General David Petraeus, Ryan Crocker
    Transcript of testimony before The House Foreign Relations Committee.
  4. DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS -- Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs, 31 March 2008   [4.5Meg]
    Government Accountability Office (original at
    (See analysis at GAO: Weapons systems over budget, overdue, underperforming, Elizabeth Newell,
  5. Rice-Gates Op-ed, 13 February 2008
    An op-ed piece sent to the Washington Post by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, asserting disingenuously that the November 2007 Bush-Maliki status-of-forces agreement would not tie the hands of any future president.
  6. Bush-Maliki Agreement, 26 November 2007
    This agreement, announced by the White House on 26 November 2007, is an attempt to guarantee U.S. military involvement in Iraqi affairs into the indefinite future. It uses the "status-of-forces" approach, which bypasses the requirement for Congressional approval in the case of formal treaties. (See Managing Iraq's Econoccupation for an update.)
  7. Bremer's 100 Orders, May 2003 - June 2004
    J. Paul Bremmer III, Coalition Provisional Authority
    These orders, which are being hard-coded into the developing Bush/Maliki agreement. They contain in them the seeds which created much of the subsequent problems in Iraq, and were designed to destroy the existing Iraqi economy and perpetuate an extreme form of free market economy and open access to U.S. corporations. Some commentary:

  8. Iraq War Resolution, 10-11 October 2002
    This Congressional resolution, passed by a wide margin (role call included) skirted the Constitutional requirement that war be declared only by Congress, by providing the Administration with permission to invade Iraq in a non-declared war.
  9. Organizational Chart for StratCom
    The former Strategic Air Command now coordinates a large part of all U.S. military activity all over the world. Under the Doctrine of Preemption and CONPLAN 8022-02 (the operational embodiment of our offensive Global Strike), StratCom is now authorized to attack anywhere on the face of the Earth within one hour on the mere perception of a threat to America's national security -- without first seeking congressional approval as required by the U.S. Constitution and the "War Powers Resolution."

Embassy and Permanent Bases     (TOP)
(see also the Embassy page and Global Security's list of bases)

  1. What Basis for 'Permanent' Bases?, 11 April 2008
    Assistant Defense Secretary Mary Beth Long
    In this transcript of testimony of Assistant Defense Secretary Mary Beth Long and State Department Iraq Coordinator David Satterfield before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under questioning from James Webb (D,VA), a stunning exchange should send warning to anyone in Congress thinking of banning "permanent bases." It includes the following:
    "Long: As far as the department is concerned, we don't have a worldwide or even a department-wide definition of permanent bases. I believe those are, by and large, determined on a case-by-case basis. . . .
    Webb: Well, I understand that. But basically my point is it's sort of a dead word. It doesn't really mean anything.
    Long: Yes, Senator, you're completely right. It doesn't. . . .
    Webb: We've had bases in Korea since 1953, anyway, and I would be hard-pressed to say they're permanent. How long is permanent?. . .
    Long: Senator, you're exactly right. I think most lawyers . . . would say that the word 'permanent' probably refers more to the state of mind contemplated by the use[r?] of the term."
  2. U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Updated 10 October 2007
    Congressional Research Service periodic report covering the embassy's background, organizational structure, location, security, role, funding, and Congressional oversight responsibilities. (Source URL:
  3. Long-Term Bases and the New Embassy Compound, January 2007
    This is the tenth chapter of "War and Occupation in Iraq, a report assembled by Global Policy Forum and its partner organizations. The chapter covers the history and details of the bases, the military implications, and Congressional concern.

  4. Central Iraq system provides bandwidth to support critical C4I missions, 13 September 2006
    Harrison Dennelly, Military Information Technology
    "A team from the Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems . . . has implemented the Central Iraq Microwave System (CIMS), which provides near-real-time . . . data transmission services with multiple layers of redundancy for the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I). CIMS, with SONET communications links in the International Zone, Camp Victory, Camp Slayer, Taji and Camp Anaconda, provides OC-3 (155 Mbps) bandwidth to support critical C4I missions. The links in the International Zone, Camp Victory and Camp Slayer became operational late last year . . .".
  5. Can You Say 'Permanent Bases' in Iraq]?, 27 March 2006
    Tom Engelhardt, the Nation An examination of the nature of the permanent bases, what that nature implies, and how the military obfuscates the discussion of them.
  6. Commanders Plan Eventual Consolidation of U.S. Bases in Iraq, 22 May 2005
    Bradley Graham, Washington Post
    When troop drawdown eventually occurs, U.S. military commanders plan to reduce the 106 U.S. military bases at the time down to 4 heavily-fortified "contingency operating" air bases, originally called "enduring bases," apparently reflecting "a judgment by U.S. military commanders that American forces are likely to be in Iraq for some years." (see also next item)
  7. U.S. Embassy in Iraq,   (updated) 11 March 2005 (also available here)
    Susan B. Epstein, Congressional Research Service
    ". . . At the time of its closing (1991), the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad maintained a staff of 41 and an annual budget of $3.5 million . . . [As of February 2005] The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is the largest American embassy in both staff size and budget. [Footnote 1: As of January 2005, U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, ranks as the second largest with a staff of 214 and an annual budget of $43.8 million.] According to the State Department, the U.S. Mission in Baghdad is staffed with about 1,000 Americans representing various U.S. government agencies and between 300 and 400 locally engaged staff (LES, formerly referred to as foreign service nationals, or FSN). The total staff estimate of about 1,400 makes this the largest U.S. embassy anywhere in the world. [Footnote 2: Estimates as of February 2005 by the Department of State.] . . . The State Department is using three sites for embassy-related needs. The sites are the Chancery, formerly a Baathist residence which was later occupied by the U.S. Army; the Annex (the Republican Palace) previously used by the CPA; and the Ambassador's residence, once occupied by Ambassador Bremer. The U.S. government is not paying Iraq for the use of property and buildings, according to the State Department. State's Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has identified property on which to eventually build the New Embassy Compound (NEC) on a site adjacent to the Tigris River in the Green Zone. OBO has estimated that NEC can be constructed within two years of receiving appropriations from Congress. . ."
  8. Permanent bases, early 2005
    A description of the history of U.S. plans for permanent bases, including Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's April 2003 denial of permanent intentions in Iraq, and a detailed set of maps of military facilities in Iraq in early 2004. Also briefly described is the permanent military communications system.
  9. Amid Talk of Withdrawal, Pentagon Is Taking Steps For Longer Stay in Iraq, 14 January 2005
    Eli Lake, New York Sun
    "The new [military communications] network, known as Central Iraq Microwave System, will eventually consist of up to 12 communications towers throughout Iraq and fiber-optic cables connecting Camp Victory, located outside of Baghdad, to other coalition bases in the country . . . A senior defense policy expert for the American Enterprise Institute, Thomas Donnelly, told the Sun that the kind of investment in the communications system is similar to the systems established during the Cold War in West Germany and more recently in the Balkans, two locations where American soldiers are still serving today. 'This is the kind of investment that is reflective of the strategic commitment and intention to continue a military presence in Iraq,' Mr. Donnelly said . . . 'I believe this terrestrial microwave system going in, whose final target is Afghanistan, together with such recent signals as a new military relationship between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, are further indications of the long-term implementation of the Bush vision to bring democracy to the Middle East,' a former CIA officer and founder of the CIA's counterterrorism center, Duane Clarridge, said in an interview."

Effects of the War on the U.S. Military     (TOP)

  1. A Soldier's Suicide, 21 July 2008   [Video, 7:16]
    Garland McLaurin, American News Project
    "Suicides among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are reaching epidemic proportions. More than 6,000 veterans took their lives in 2005 alone, according to a study by CBS News. By some estimates, veterans are attempting suicide 1,000 times a month. Marine Corporal James Jenkins of New Jersey was one of these unsung casualties of war. A decorated veteran of the Iraq invasion and the Battle of Najaf, he took his own life after serving 22 months overseas. His mother, Cynthia Fleming, shares his story with ANP - a tragedy that is being repeated 15 times a day in this country."
  2. Ecstasy is the key to treating PTSD, 4 May 2008
    Amy Turner, Times (UK) Online
    This article describes some of the most hopeful news in years concerning treatment of PTSD. Such news is welcome, given the Rand Corporation's report estimating that a third of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans (amounting to about a half a million) are suffering from PTSD. A study testing a new treatment based on the use of MDMA (Ecstasy) has been underway for several years. After MDMA was criminalized, scientists tried for years in vain to get permission from the FDA to use it as an experimental clinical drug. Permission was finally granted in 2000, only to be rescinded due to a faulty study, and then granted again. In 2004, a South Carolina psychotherapist, Dr. Michael Mithoefer, began a carefully-constructed study of the use of MDMA in a clinical setting to induce trust in the therapist and reduce the fear and defenses PTSD sufferers experience when trying to face the experiences that left them traumatised. That confrontation apparently is essential to getting free of the disorder, and in Mithoefer's study so far, MDMA has succeeded where nothing else has. What isn't clear from the article is to what degree military-induced PTSD is responsive to this treatment.
  3. Half of Vets Suffering Brain and Mind Injuries Go Untreated, But Pentagon Pretends Nothing's Going on, 29 April 2008
    Penny Coleman, Alternet
    In this article, in the wake of the RAND Corporation report (see 4/17/08, below) and the revelations about coverup of massive veteran mental health problems, PTSD activist Coleman (see 11/26/07, below) attends the DoD's sixth annual Suicide Prevention Conference. She reports on a shocking degree of denial and rationalization and ignoring of reality on the part of the professional attendees, in ways too numerous to mention in a short summary.
  4. One In Five Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Suffer from PTSD or Major Depression, 17 April
    Terri Tanielian and Lisa Jaycox, RAND Corporation
    This press release for this major RAND study begins: "Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of these deployments -- many involving prolonged exposure to combat-related stress over multiple rotations -- may be disproportionately high compared with the physical injuries of combat. In the face of mounting public concern over post-deployment health care issues confronting OEF/OIF veterans, several task forces, independent review groups, and a Presidential Commission have been convened to examine the care of the war wounded and make recommendations. Concerns have been most recently centered on two combat-related injuries in particular: post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. With the increasing incidence of suicide and suicide attempts among returning veterans, concern about depression is also on the rise. . . RAND conducted a comprehensive study of the post-deployment health-related needs associated with these three conditions among OEF/OIF veterans, the health care system in place to meet those needs, gaps in the care system, and the costs associated with these conditions and with providing quality health care to all those in need. This monograph presents the results of our study, which should be of interest to mental health treatment providers; health policymakers, particularly those charged with caring for our nation’s veterans; and U.S. service men and women, their families, and the concerned public. . ."
    Links to summaries (and ordering) of the study's various publications are at
  5. While reservists serve, their jobs don't always wait, 10 April 2008
    Jill Carroll, Christian Science Monitor
    " . . . As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind on, tensions are mounting between the military's civilian volunteers, trying to step back into their professions, and employers, straining at times to cope with a growing cadre of workers who are away at war for months then expect to regain their former jobs. A 1994 law -- the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) -- gives workers that right, along with promotions or other benefits they would have earned had they not been deployed. But with more than 600,000 reservists and guardsmen mobilized since 9/11, thousands have found their jobs gone or positions diminished when they returned. . . A GAO analysis of Defense Department surveys in 2004 and 2006 showed that some 70 percent of reservists who said they had problems getting rehired or promotions or raises did not seek redress. One reason may be that the system is bureaucratic and can take months to decide a case. Four government agencies handle complaints. The Defense Department's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) offers informal mediation. The Labor Department tries to resolve formal complaints from service members without going to court. If they can't be resolved and are legitimate complaints, then the Justice Department or the Office of Special Counsel will take the case to court. . ."
  6. Military Recruiting 2007: Army Misses Benchmarks by Greater Margin, 22 January 2008
    National Project on Priorities
    Exhaustive detailed study of DoD data obtained by Freedom of Information Act request. "The Iraq War began to have an impact on recruiting in 2005, when the Army missed its goal for the number of recruits. In 2007, for the third year in a row, the Army did not meet its benchmark for the level of educational attainment of recruits. The percentage of recruits the Department of Defense (DoD) considers 'high quality' also dropped considerably. A higher percentage of recruits will drop out well before the end of the first term of enlistment, leading to further increases in spending on recruitment and training, including enlistment bonuses and pay for additional recruiters."
  7. Quality of Life in the Military, 20 December 2007
    Lawrence Korb, Sean Duggan; Center for American Progress
    [this is a link to a summary article, which has a link to the full report PDF]
    This is a brief overview of the current situation on life in the military, looking at finances, medical care, mental health/suicide and family life. Also a graphic on what administration actions have done to the quality of life.
  8. 120 War Vets Commit Suicide Each Week, 26 November 2007
    Penny Colman, Alternet
    CBS News collected death-by-suicide data from the 45 of the 50 states who responded to their request, and determined that in 2005, 6256 veterans committed suicide, a rate of 120 a week. The author (whose Vietnam-vet-PTSD husband committed suicide) makes the connection between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and each of three of the main causal factors of suicide -- poverty (inability to keep a job), despair (relentlessness of the memories), and neglect (the well-documented failure to provide adequate medical and psychological help to damaged veterans). She also describes the way the Department of Defense "has managed to keep what has become an epidemic of death beneath the radar of public awareness by systematically concealing statistics about soldier suicides."
  9. Beyond the Call of Duty, 7 August 2007
    Lawrence Korb, Peter Rundlet, Max Bergmann, Sean Duggan, Peter Juul; Center for American Progress
    [this is a link to a summary article, which has a link to the full report PDF]
    "Bush's latest escalation threatens to inflict serious long-term damage to the force. . . . Not since the aftermath of the Vietnam War has the U.S. Army been so depleted. Since the Center for American Progress released its "Beyond the Call of Duty" report last March, ongoing troop rotations and deployments have altered the American troop presence in Iraq substantially. The report, an in-depth study of the stress and fatigue within the 41 combat brigades and three Cavalry Regiments in the active Army, was the first comprehensive review of the consequences the Bush administration's war in Iraq has had on the active Army. In an ongoing effort to chronicle these effects, CAP has updated the report to reflect the most recent deployment schedule issued by the Department of Defense."
  10. Caught Off Guard: The Link Between Our National Security and Our National Guard, 21 May 2007
    [this is a link to a summary article, which has a link to the full report PDF; see also Maps, below]
    Lawrence Korb, Sean Duggan; Center for American Progress
    ". . . However controversial this escalation may be, proponents and opponents of the war have reached a consensus on an equally important issue: nearly six years of war in Afghanistan and over four years in Iraq has pushed the total Army (Active, Guard, and Reserve) to the breaking point. The crisis in our nation’s active armed forces has received a great deal of attention, but the corresponding crisis in the Guard and Reserves, the reserve component of our military, has gone largely unnoticed. Yet to maintain the occupation in Iraq and our commitment to Afghanistan, the Pentagon has had to rely increasingly on reserve forces. . ."
  11. Military Readiness Declining, June/July 2006
    The Military Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held hearings on Military Readiness on 28 June, 2006. They received a briefing paper ahead of time that was widely circulated on Capitol Hill. (Among the many interesting tidbits is the fact that the Navy is losing fighter planes, not due to enemy fire, but due to the higher-than-anticipated usage of the planes, causing them to reach the maximum number of aircraft-carier "catches" that they have been designed to handle in their lifetime.) The Center for Defense Information's (CDI) Defense Monitor and the Newstand's The (Pentagon) Insider each published articles on it. This wealth of information is available as follows:

General Background Information and Analysis     (TOP)
See also the subsection on Regularly Updated information -- databases, timelines.

  1. The Walls of Baghdad -- How the U.S. is Reproducing Israel's Flawed Occupation Strategies in Iraq, 21 April 2008
    Steve Niva, Foreign Policy In Focus
    This article traces the history of American interest in Israeli urban warfare and occupation experience since the "Blackhawk Down" disaster in Mogadishu in 1993. The use of walls to isolate and divide the population in areas that present problems has come to large-scale fruition in American military policy in Iraq, the walls in Sadr City being only the most recent and most visible. But that specific technique is only one part of a larger strategic approach created by the Israeli military of using technical means in the air and on the ground to subdue a population and minimize military casualties.
  2. The Other Guantanamo -- Diego Garcia, 3 April 2008
    David Vine, Foreign Policy in Focus
    Diego Garcia's position in the Indian Ocean brought it to the attention of the U.S. as a key strategic naval/air location for military activity all the way from Africa through the Middle East to southern Asia. This article details history of that usage, dating from the beginning of the complete eviction of the indigenous population in the 1960's. It also describes recent revelations that the island has been used as a secret-rendition prison.

    (For full background on Diego Garcia, see the support site and the 2004 video by John Pilger, Stealing a Nation.

  3. The Sadr-Sistani Relationship, 29 March 2008
    Babak Rahimi, The Terrorism Monitor (Jamestown Foundation)
    "One of the oddest developments in the recent history of Iraq has been the growing connection between the young firebrand cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, and the highest-ranking Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Earlier in 2003, the erratic politics of al-Sadr, with his mix of Arab nationalism and militant chiliastic ideology, was considered to eventually collide with al-Sistani's quietist form of Shi'ism, which advocates that clerics should maintain a clear distance from day-to-day state politics. Since 2004, however, an unlikely alliance has gradually taken form between the former adversaries, which is bound to reshape Iraqi Shiite politics in the years to come."
  4. The Battle of Baghdad: Iraq's Most Fearsome Militia, the U.S. Military, on the Offensive, 23 March 2008
    Michael Schwartz, TomDispatch
    A brief but clear history of the destruction of a stable, mixed, heterogeneous society, examining the sequence of U.S. military policies that created and supported the process of ethnic cleansing and destruction of the neighborhoods of Baghdad.
    "....Over the course of five years, Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, has been transformed from a metropolis into an urban desert of half-destroyed buildings and next to no public services, dotted by partially deserted, mutually hostile mini-ghettos that used to be neighborhoods, surrounded by cement barriers reminiscent of medieval fortifications. The most prominent of these ghettos is the heavily fortified city-inside-a-city dubbed the Green Zone, where Iraq's most fearsome militia, the United States military, is headquartered. It is governed by the Americans and by the American-sponsored Iraqi government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. The remaining ghettos, large and small, are governed by local militias, most of them sworn enemies of the United States and the Maliki regime."
  5. Why Isn't Iraq in the 2008 Election?, 3 March 2008
    Naom Chomsky, Speech at Bikes-Not-Bombs event
    A wide-ranging examination of U.S. government actions and press coverage that reflect an assumption American "ownership" of the world and the "non-people" status of vast majorities of the world's population. Chomsky examines at the patterns of hypocrisy and inconsistency of the U.S. government's relationship with Panama, Iran, and Korea. He also points out the irony of the U.S. touting the "good news" of Iraqis' commonly held values, without mentioning that these involve a wish that the U.S. leave, and that the values shared with the American public include an acceptance of the Nuremburg Tribunal basics -- particularly that aggression (the armed invasion of another country) is the ultimate war crime, because all others stem from it.
  6. The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, 25 February 2008
    Maude Barlow, excerpt from chapter 5 of her new book, Blue Covenant
    "The three water crises -- dwindling freshwater supplies, inequitable access to water and the corporate control of water -- pose the greatest threat of our time to the planet and to our survival. Together with impending climate change from fossil fuel emissions, the water crises impose some life-or-death decisions on us all. Unless we collectively change our behavior, we are heading toward a world of deepening conflict and potential wars over the dwindling supplies of freshwater -- between nations, between rich and poor, between the public and the private interest, between rural and urban populations, and between the competing needs of the natural world and industrialized humans."
  7. The Three Trillion Dollar War, 23 February 2008
    Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, The Times (UK) Online
    An economics Nobel laureate and a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government analyze the real financial cost of the war. "The Bush Administration was wrong about the benefits of the war and it was wrong about the costs of the war. . . The cost of direct US military operations -- not even including long-term costs such as taking care of wounded veterans -- already exceeds the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War. And, even in the best case scenario, these costs are projected to be almost ten times the cost of the first Gulf War, almost a third more than the cost of the Vietnam War, and twice that of the First World War. The only war in our history which cost more was the Second World War . . . a total cost (in 2007 dollars, after adjusting for inflation) of about $5 trillion. . . With virtually the entire armed forces committed to fighting the Germans and Japanese, the cost per troop (in today's dollars) was less than $100,000 in 2007 dollars. By contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of $400,000 per troop. . ."
  8. The Iraqi Brain Drain, 10 February 2008
    Michael Schwartz, Tom Dispatch
    The intro by Tom Engelhardt puts the Iraqi refugee exodus on a U.S. scale. Stony Brook University Sociology Professor Schwartz's "First History of the Planet's Worst Refugee Crisis" then goes through the history of the exodus of 2 million (and counting) and the displacement of over 2.25 million (and counting) -- why they left, where they went, and what their new circumstances are. He also examines the consequences of their flight and their circumstances on Iraq's present and future. Missing from this piece is a detailed examination of the demographic effects on the political situations in Syria and Jordan.
    (See also the Refugee section of the NEWS page.)
  9. Only a US Withdrawal Will Stop Al-Qaeda in Iraq, 5 October 2007
    Raed Jarrar and Joshua Holland, Alternet
    "One of the last justifications for continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq despite overwhelming opposition from Iraqis, Americans and the rest of humanity has come down to this: U.S. forces must remain in order to battle 'al Qaeda in Iraq.' Like so many of the arguments presented in the United States, the idea is not only intellectually bankrupt, it's also the 180-degree opposite of reality. The truth of the matter is that only the presence of U.S. forces allows the group called 'al Qaeda in Iraq' (AQI) to survive and function, and setting a timetable for the occupation to end is the best way to beat them. You won't hear that perspective in Washington, but according to Iraqis with whom we spoke, it is the conventional wisdom in much of the country. . . The narrative surrounding Al Qaeda in Iraq is just one part of the larger argument to continue the occupation indefinitely. That is: the United States must remain in Iraq because [otherwise]. . . chaos could ensue, innocent people would lose their life, extremists would be emboldened, the countries of the Middle East would be endangered, and that would cause America to be endangered, as well. What's remarkable is how effective this argument has been, even among purported opponents of the war. Take a step back, and the proposition that it's immoral for an invading power to bring an end to a disastrous occupation is nothing short of bizarre. It was an argument that could just as easily have been made by the Soviets during their occupation of Afghanistan and is just as valid today vis-à-vis the American presence in Iraq."
  10. Vietnam's Real Lessons, 25 August 2007
    Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times
    In this op-ed piece, Prof. Bacevich notes President Bush's use of Vietnam as a rationale for the U.S. staying in Iraq, and then points out a variety of ways in which the rationale actually points in the opposite direction. ". . . The real question is not how many bad guys we are killing, but how many our continued presence in Iraq is creating. . . Whether Maliki is a good guy or even a heckuva good guy is beside the point. The real question is whether he presides over a government capable of governing. Mounting evidence suggests that the answer to that question is no. . . Once the Americans departed, the Vietnamese began getting their act together. . . the question poses itself: Is it not possible that the people of the Middle East might be better qualified to determine their future than a cadre of American soldiers, spooks and do-gooders? The answer to that question just might be yes."
  11. Iraq is Korea?, 31 May 2007
    Fred Kaplan, Slate
    "Bush's latest appalling historical analogy" -- A good analysis of the fundamental differences between the situation in Korea in the early 50's through until now and the situation in Iraq now.
  12. US troops target Sadr City, May 2007
    BBC documentary (21 minutes)
    An excellent overview of the history and current realities of Sadr City and Sadrism, with a focus on a woman who was formerly a biochemist and now a Sadrist representative to Parliament, Dr. Maha Adel Mahdi. One (among very many) interesting insight is the view of some Sadrists of the Americans as having come at the behest of Israel to prevent the second coming of the Mahdi, the Shiites' mysterious lost imam (after whom the Mahdi army is named), thus denying them redemption.
  13. The Oil and Gas Law: Signing Away Iraq's Future?, April 2007
    An overview of the Iraqi Oil Law (approved by the Maliki administration but repeatedly found unacceptable to the Iraqi parliament) and its potential impacts on Iraq. (This and other documents on Iraqi oil available at
  14. Shiite Militias and Iraq's Security Forces, 30 November 2005
    Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations
    Descriptions of the Mahdi Army, Badr Organization, and Wolf Brigade at the time, and their infiltration of the Iraqi Security Forces.
  15. A Brief Modern Political History of Iraq, April 2005
    Bruce Preston
    A detailed document (e-book) covering the Mesopotamia origins of Iraq, and its history and the players in that history from 1900 to 2005. "History doesn't just 'happen'; it occurs against a wider backdrop of personalities, policies, cultures and attitudes. Plus of course past events, whether very recent or from decades, centuries or even millennia ago."

Regularly Updated General Information     (TOP)

  1. Iraq Timeline -- chronology of key events, 1920 to date
    A helpful set of brief annotations of events explicitly involving Iraq (it apparently doesn't include outside events that affect Iraq, such as U.S. presidential elections).
    (See alos Saddam's Iraq -- key events for a more detailed look at some of the events from 1957-2002
  2. Iraq Relief Efforts
    Relief Web
    This is a database of thousands of notifications of relief efforts in Iraq (other countries are selectable, as well) from a variety of sources. It is searchable by Note:  Probably due to the size of the database, it can take a while to load a page. Don't give up.

Postwar Considerations     (TOP)

  1. New State Department Releases on the "Future of Iraq" Project, 1 Sep 2006
    The Future of Iraq Project, National Security Archive
    "Less than one month after the September 11 attacks, the State Department in October 2001 began planning the post-Saddam Hussein transition in Iraq. Under the direction of former State official Thomas S. Warrick, the Department organized over 200 Iraqi engineers, lawyers, businesspeople, doctors and other experts into 17 working groups to strategize on topics including the following: public health and humanitarian needs, transparency and anti-corruption, oil and energy, defense policy and institutions, transitional justice, democratic principles and procedures, local government, civil society capacity building, education, free media, water, agriculture and environment and economy and infrastructure. Thirty-three total meetings were held primarily in Washington from July 2002 through early April 2003. As part of the internal bureaucratic battle for control over Iraq policy within the Bush administration, the Department of Defense's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), itself replaced by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in May 2003, would ultimately assume responsibility for post-war planning in accordance with National Security Presidential Directive 24 signed on January 20, 2003. According to some press accounts, the Defense Department largely ignored the report, although DOD officials deny that. The result of the project was a 1,200-page 13-volume report that contains a multitude of facts, strategies, predictions and warnings about a diverse range of complex and potentially explosive issues, some of which have since developed as the report's authors anticipated, and have contributed to miring the U.S.-led nation-building experiment in disaster . . ."

Key Legislative Proposals     (TOP)

  1. H.R.3938: Repeal Military Force Authorization, John Dingell, 23 October 2007
    The "Bring Our Troops Home Responsibly Act of 2007", designed "To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243) and to require the withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces in Iraq" with a target of 20 January 2009. Referred to the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees, picked up 7 co-sponsors by February 2008.
  2. H.R.1234: End the United States occupation of Iraq immediately, Dennis Kucinich, 28 February 2007
    Withdrawal of forces and contractors, no covert activity, U.N. peacekeeping, reparations, non-privatization of oil, economic stabilization, and much more. (See also Kucinich's detailed comments on the bill.)

  3. H.R.508: Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2007, Lynn Woolsey, 17 January 2007
    "To require United States military disengagement from Iraq, to provide United States assistance for reconstruction and reconciliation in Iraq, and for other purposes."

U.N. Security Council Resolutions Authorizing the Multinational Force (MNF)     (TOP)

  1. The "Multinational Force" Mandate and Related Security Council Action on Iraq during the Occupation, 16 November 2007
    Ellen Paine, Global Policy Forum
    This article covers the initial May and August 2003 resolutions widely seen as acknowledging acceptance by the Security Council of the invasion, and the annual multinational force authorizations from 2003 to 2006. The article was published before the controversial 2007 re-authorization resolution requested by Prime Minister al-Maliki in an end run around the Iraqi Parliament.
  2. U.N. Press releases w/texts of initial and multinational force authorization resolutions, (via U.N. press release search

  3. Texts of U.N. multinational force authorization resolutions (PDFs)
    [Other Iraq-related resolutions in each year are indicated in brackets]
    (using the annual lists of press releases found at, where XX is the last 2 digits of the year, and yyyy is "html" for 2003-2005, and "htm" for 2006-2007)

Maps     (TOP)

  1. Conflict 21
    This maps section of the Maxwell Air Force Base's "Operation Iraqi Freedom" page has a wealth of maps and satellite imagery of Iraq. It also has a link to . . .
  2. University of Texas Iraq map collection
    A treasure trove of country, city, detail, thematic, and historical maps of Iraq, and a large set of links to other collections. Cached here are:
  3. Sadr City Walls,  20 May 2008
    New York Times detail map of Sadr City, with U.S.-built concrete dividing walls marked. (Cached)
  4. Displaced Persons Arrivals in Iraqi Provinces between 2/06 and 7/07,  July(?) 2007
    Original retrieved from Common Dreams reprint of a BBC 10 October 2007 article (see Refugee section of the NEWS page) on growing provincial restrictions on refugees. The map source was unspecified, but appears to pre-date the restriction trend.
  5. The National Guard: Overused and Overstretched (interactive map),  May 2007
    Companion map to the article on the National Guard in the Effects on the Military section above: "The Army National Guard's 16 Enhanced Brigades are supposed to be able to deploy rapidly -- fully manned and equipped -- to respond to terrorist attacks or natural disasters on U.S. soil. But the Guard and its equipment have been stretched so thin by overseas deployments that it is unprepared to respond to crisis situations at home. Yellow flags on this map . . . "
  6. Facilities: Iraq and Baghdad, early 2004
    Finely detailed maps courtesy of, clickable to enlarge

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