Iraq occupation

The privatisation of military power

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Over the past 15 years a creeping process of outsourcing has been taking place inside the military. John Newsinger argues that the use of mercenaries and contractors undermines democracy.

The Iraq war will be seen as a turning point in the history of warfare. Not because of the illegality of the invasion or the unprecedented incompetence of the occupation, important though these were, but because it was the first modern public-private war.

No victory

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The US exit from Iraq was a humiliation for the world's biggest superpower. Barack Obama wanted to fulfil his commitment to pull out of Iraq by 31 December 2011, but he also wanted to leave some troops in place. He didn't get his way. The Iraqi authorities refused to extend an agreement of immunity from prosecution for US troops beyond 2011 - so Obama had to pull them all out.

Obama once described Iraq as the "dumb war", yet in his speech to soldiers in the US marking the pull out he called it "an extraordinary achievement".

Iraq's occupation goes on, but with new cloaks

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Some in the media apologised for the uncritical way they peddled official policy and lies on Iraq, designed to justify the invasion and occupation of the country. In marginalising the news about the true state of affairs in Iraq today their role is no less damaging.


Photo: DVIDS

Fort Hood: Iraq and Afghanistan - the resurgence of anti-war cafes

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In Killeen, Texas, the Under the Hood Cafe is getting military families and soldiers organised. Its founder, Cynthia Thomas, talks to Judith Orr


Why did you set up the Under the Hood Outreach Center and Cafe?

The concept of the coffee houses has been around since the 1960s during the Vietnam War. There was actually one here in Killeen during that time called the Oleo Strut. When the wars started with Afghanistan and Iraq, people were talking about setting up a coffee house again.

New war resisters

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Growing numbers of US soldiers are refusing to go and fight what they see as immoral wars, reports Dahr Jamail, who has recently written a book on the soldiers who won't return to the battlefield.

Today the US finds itself in two seemingly unending occupations. With veterans not being given the healthcare they need upon their return, redeployment becoming increasingly common, and a stop-loss policy that continues to lower morale among troops, GI resistance is once again on the rise. This is what my book is about.

Examples of various forms of GI resistance are once again becoming commonplace.

Eyewitness report on the legacy of the occupation of Iraq

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Sabah Jawad has just returned from Iraq. He reports on a country still devastated by the effects of the war and explains how the very foundations of society have been shattered by the US.

In 2003 the Iraqi state structures, not only the regime of Saddam Hussein, were destroyed. All the institutions of the Iraqi state were disbanded - the ministries and buildings were destroyed, the civil service sent home. The police, army, museums, national heritage and libraries were all destroyed, looted and burned down.

Letter From Iraq

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Ahmed Ali reports from Baquba on the treatment of Iraqi people at the hands of the US military.

The presence of US forces in Iraq had a massive impact on Iraqi people right from the first day of the occupation. Iraq has spent two decades in the darkness with an eight year war and a 13 year blockade and United Nations sanctions.
At the time of the US invasion, Iraqis were put to the test. Very few passed. How to pass became a crucial dilemma. It was connected to our understanding of the real world - a world that believes in the absolute power of the US. In effect those who gave in to this reality passed.

Iraq, Afghanistan: Has the US lost?

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The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan look ever more entrenched. But, Paul Rogers argues, the only solution for the world's most powerful nation and its allies will be withdrawal

The military and political problems of US and coalition policy in Afghanistan and Iraq are causing fresh uncertainty and dispute in Western capitals. This short term concern, however, must be seen against the background of the entire "war on terror" - and the US unilateralism that propelled it - since its launch in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001.

Solidarity, struggle and resistance

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Iraqi-born writer and activist Haifa Zangana talks to Judith Orr about the struggle of Iraqi women still fighting for the liberation of their country.

Your new book, City of Widows, looks at the history of Iraq and in particular the role of women, which is often hidden in official histories.

During the period of Islam and the emergence of Islam and the building of the Islamic empire, there were always women leaders, poets - quite influential women in society.

Prominent women are more common at times of expansion, and when there have been struggles for national liberation women have been there, and have been quite powerful. So it varies from one period to another historically.

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