What Will It Take?
Sale of Z Videos
Criminalization of Dissent
American Civil Liberties
Gaza Boats Seized
Wasting $13 Million
What Happened to Children First?
Bruce E. Levine
The Student Debt Bubble
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Obama Doctrine
The Power Couple
Laurence h. Shoup
Bread and Roses
The Monopoly of Manipulation
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The Victory of Popular Resistance in Occupied Iraq
On February 15, 2005, following the election held in January, the still unified “Anti-Occupation Patriotic Forces” met at the Umm Al-Qura mosque in
But, with the recruitment, training, and deployment of the Special Police, the Resistance would soon face a new enemy, most notably in a dirty war against the secular middle class neighborhoods of
On April 4, 2005, the Interior Ministry announced the expansion of the Special Police to 24 battalions. Generals Thavit and Abu Walid were by then household names, thanks to a grotesque “reality TV” program called “Terrorism in the Grip of Justice,” in which a parade of badly beaten Iraqis confessed to resistance activities, gruesome murders, and often homosexuality for good measure, on the U.S.-backed Al-Iraqiya television station. The program was quickly linked to real crimes when the body of a policeman who “confessed” to killing two of his fellow officers was delivered to his family a few days after his confession was broadcast.
As the U.S.-backed transitional government prepared to take office, the head of the Badr Brigade militia, Bayan al-Jabr, was appointed as its Interior Minister. Steven Casteel remained in
The first evidence of the Special Police commandos’ dirty war in
In successive weeks, months, and years, tens of thousands of men and boys in
Sunni Arabs were the main targets and many of the Special Police commandos involved had backgrounds in the Iranian-trained Badr Brigades. But the Western perception of “sectarian violence” and of a long history of communal violence in
Settling and Civilizing
In reality, the conversion of the majority of Iraqi Arabs to the Shiite form of Islam did not take place until the late 19th century. Formerly nomadic tribes began to settle in newly fertile areas around Najaf and
At the same time, the Persian clerics in the Shiite shrine cities of Najaf and
The main trends in 20th century
Although Saddam Hussein’s inner circle included a small group of his relatives and fellow Tikritis, and Sunni Arabs dominated the officer corps of the Iraqi Army, as they had since 1920, Shiite Arabs held a majority in the broader leadership of the Baathist government. A researcher at the
Raed Jarrar and other Iraqis have examined the ethnicity of the 55 Iraqis depicted on the pack of playing cards issued to
Since the majority of Baathist officials were Shiites, we must conclude that American officials had ulterior reasons to demonize Sunnis, link them to Baathism, and unleash genocidal violence against them. This strategy enabled the Americans to present themselves as the guardians of the majority Shiite population and the Kurds and to forestall the united resistance that the CIA had warned of in November 2003. “Divide and rule” policies require occupying powers to identify and target ethnic and political groups in this way and the Americans were prepared to use as much force as necessary and destroy secular Iraqi society in the process. Although the violence of the occupation was a full frontal assault on Iraqi civil society that transcended sect and ethnicity, it eventually killed at least 10 percent of the Sunni Arab population and drove about half of the Sunni Arabs in
Framing its war in
U.S.-Led Death Squads; “Sectarian Violence”
As the Special Police Commandos were unleashed on
Muqtada al-Sadr made a rare public appearance to prohibit his followers from taking part in this campaign. “Any action targeting unarmed civilians is forbidden under any circumstances,” he said in Najaf. “All Sunnis cannot be held responsible for the terrorist deeds of the occupiers and the Wahabis.” He reiterated this warning again two months later, adding, “The occupation itself is the problem.
On May 19, the Arab League discussed the new pattern of violence in
But American reporting on the emerging dirty war in
But Salihee’s investigations had already established that none of these cases involved small groups of men with police uniforms and one or two police vehicles. They all involved well-organized raids by large groups of Special Police commandos with 10 to 30 clearly-marked police vehicles and the full complement of equipment issued to the commandos by their American trainers. This included radios connected to
The response of
By July 2005, the Guardian was able to identify six facilities in
In September 2005, the UN Assistance Mission in
The horrors of the Interior Ministry’s prisons were publicly exposed when a
In the wake of the “discovery” of al-Jadiriyah, the Special Police were rebranded as the National Police. The New York Times questioned former interim Interior Ministry Falah al-Naqib about the composition of these forces. The
The role of U.S. Special Police Transition Teams working with these forces throughout this period is also well documented. Each Iraqi unit generally had at least two
The Ethnic Cleansing Of
The dirty war in
The first evidence of this campaign was a new assault on Adhamiya by National Police Commandos, supported by
Then, at about 1:00 AM on the night of April 16, 40 National Police vehicles stormed into Adhamiya from three directions, including through a
On the following day, the Iraqi National Guard resumed patrols in the neighborhood, but another fire-fight erupted with the local guards at the al-Anbia mosque, apparently triggered by someone seeking revenge for an earlier incident.
The composition of the Iraqi Resistance units in Adhamiya contradicted the American narrative of “sectarian violence.” A resident who had seen four neighbors killed in March told the New York Times that her block was now protected by a “watch group” of seven men, both Sunnis and Shiites, who stood watch on rooftops every night from midnight until 6:00 AM. The National Police responded to increasingly effective resistance to nighttime raids by instead abducting people on their way to or from work, like the 14 young men driving home in a minibus from Sinek to the Slekh district who were abducted and killed in April 2006.
As a result of the election in December 2005, a new Iraqi government was finally seated in May 2006 and Bayan al-Jabr was replaced as Interior Minister by Jawad al-Bulani, who was expected in some quarters to clean up the excesses of the Interior Ministry death squads. Bulani signed 52 arrest warrants for officials implicated in torture and extra-judicial killing, but Kofi Annan noted in a report several months later that the warrants had not been served. It soon became clear that Jabr’s deputy, another Badr Brigade commander named Adnan al-Asadi, had remained in his post and retained effective control over the National Police. Al-Asadi has remained in that position and was spotted directing operations from a roof-top against peaceful “Arab Spring” protesters in
Operation Together Forward
The first of the new
Some American junior officers and troops soon realized that their Iraqi partners in this operation were none other than the death squads who were one of its nominal targets, but they depended on the Iraqis for their “intelligence” and individual
Operations by Iraqi resistance forces continued to rise in parallel with the
In July 2006, Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture, met with Iraqi torture victims in
Operation Together Forward I & II were followed by the so-called “Surge” in 2007, a massive escalation of
As the prospect emerged that the “Surge” might lead to a genuine
American leaders hailed the “Surge” as a successful operation that reduced the level of violence in
For eight years of
Iraqi resistance also made it impossible for the Maliki government to survive politically without establishing its independence from
The Obama administration launched a “civilian surge” in
As the Arab Spring plays out across the Middle East, the U.S-backed government in
Asma al-Haidari took part in the “Friday of the Free” rally in Tahrir Square in Baghdad on April 15, while 5,000 people—Sunnis and Shiites from all over Iraq—camped out in the Square of the Free in Mosul for more than a week. Others took to the streets in
For Americans who share a personal commitment to peace and non-violence, armed resistance poses a special problem. It would be hypocritical in the extreme for American activists to condemn a resistance movement that emerged only in response to the violence unleashed by our own country. Even the UN Charter, which binds all countries to settle their differences by peaceful means, nevertheless recognizes the “inherent” nature of the right to self-defense. Tragically, though, we understand only too well how armed resistance is used to justify even greater violence by those responsible for all the violence in the first place. U.S. propaganda seized on the armed resistance movement in Iraq to justify years of aerial bombardment, mass incarceration, torture, indiscriminate and excessive uses of force, and the destruction of the entire country. At least a million Iraqis were killed, and the high proportion of women (5 percent), children (9 percent) and elderly people (4 percent) among the dead makes it clear that much of the slaughter was indiscriminate. Air strikes were the leading cause of violent death for children in occupied
The final outcome remains uncertain, but the Iraqi Resistance has achieved an important victory. At enormous cost, it has established that the
Nicolas J.S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Pho
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.