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THIS WEEK IN IRAQ News Summary

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 TIME TO GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ -- BOTH COUNTRIES WANT THE U.S. TO GO

The governments of Afghanistan and Iraq have indicated quite clearly that they want the United States to leave their countries. In Afghanistan, NATO cannot defeat the Taliban, and only makes matters worse by the indiscriminate killing of civilians. The most important new development is that the Afghans themselves, sickened by war and mounting civilian casualties, want the United States and other foreign troops to leave. As President Hamid Karzai himself admitted, Afghan patience with foreign troops is "wearing thin" five years after the U.S. invasion. "It is difficult for us to continue to tolerate civilian casualties," he said at a press conference earlier this month.

http://democracyrising.us/content/view/918/151/

 

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MAJORITY OF IRAQI LAWMAKERS REJECT OCCUPATION

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition. It's a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country's civil conflict, and at times it's been difficult to arrive at a quorum).

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http://democracyrising.us/content/view/913/151/

 

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CASUALTIES BREAK 55,000 IN IRAQ

US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 146 combat casualties in the 8 days ending May 16, as total casualties reached at least 55,471.The total includes 28,148 killed or wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and 27, 323 (as of May 3) more casualties from "non-hostile" causes such as accidents, suicides (107) and illness serious enough to require medical evacuation. U.S. media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by routinely reporting only the total killed (3,400) and rarely mentioning the 25,378 wounded in combat or the 26,701 military victims who suffered "non-hostile" injuries and illness...

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http://democracyrising.us/content/view/919/151/

 

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BUSH HEATS UP IRAN RHETORIC THROUGH EVANGELICAL ALLIES – “U.S. COULD LOSE A CITY, OR TEN CITIES”

RAW Story is reporting that President Bush met with conservative evangelical leaders James Dobson of Focus on the Family to rally support for taking military action against Iran. In describing the 90 minute meeting with the president and discussions with other Christian leaders Dobson used extreme rhetoric reminiscent of the “mushroom cloud” claims in the build up to the Iraq attack. Dobson said: “Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or biological or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten. If we can lose ten we can lose a hundred, especially if North Korea and Russia and China pile on.”

http://democracyrising.us/content/view/920/151/

 

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 CALL FOR 'MORE TROOPS' AS IRAQ KILLINGS SOAR; SURGE SLOW TO TAKE HOLD: 234 BODIES DUMPED IN BAGHDAD IN ONLY 11 DAYS

The US military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of death squads in Baghdad. In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April. In a further setback, the US military announced yesterday the loss of an entire patrol south of Baghdad, with five soldiers dead and three others missing, after they were ambushed by insurgents in the town of Mahmoudiya.

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http://democracyrising.us/content/view/916/151/

 

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THE HEAVILY ARMED PRIVATE U.S. MILITARY-CONTRATORS IN IRAQ

On Thursday, May 10, 2007 Congress heard testimony about private contractors in Iraq by investigative writer Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Reportedly there are more than 120,000 private contractors deployed in Iraq. “At a time when the administration seems unwilling to subject its war strategy to oversight by the Congress, we face the widespread use of private forces seemingly accountable to no effective system of oversight or law. While tens of thousands of these contractors provide logistical support services for the military, thousands are heavily armed private soldiers roaming Iraq.” “Some contractors make in a month what many active-duty soldiers make in a year. Indeed, there are private contractors in Iraq who make more money than the Secretary of Defense or the commanding generals.”

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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
 

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