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Archive | February, 2010

US Using Iraqi Political Discord to Justify Continuance of Occupation

(Photo: The U.S. Army; Edited: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t)

(Photo: The U.S. Army; Edited: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t)

As Iraqi national elections on March 7 approach, violence and political discord in the country have escalated dramatically.

On February 22, Gen. Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, announced that the US was preparing contingency plans to delay the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq if violence or political instability increases after the national elections scheduled for March 7.

There are approximately 96,000 US military personnel in Iraq. Under President Obama’s current plan, which is a continuation of George W. Bush’s policy in Iraq, the stated intention is to cut the number of US troops in Iraq to 50,000 by August 31.

The US government plans to keep at least 50,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely, as a so-called training force for Iraqi security forces.

On February 22 alone, the same day General Odierno made his comments, at least 44 Iraqis and one US soldier were killed as attacks raged across Iraq. In one of the attacks, a female suicide bomber killed 22 people and wounded 33 others in an attack at the home of a police commissioner in Balad Ruz. In another, three mortar rounds struck the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad, wounding at least six people.

The attacks have drawn comparisons by Iraqi analysts to rampant attacks that occurred during the sectarian bloodshed that ravaged Iraq between 2006-2007.

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Moscow, Idaho

Kenworthy Performing Arts Center
508 S. Main St., Moscow, Idaho

Empire, Occupation, Resistance, and Independent Media:
A Fund Raiser for Radio Free Moscow with Dahr Jamail

Snacks and drinks served.

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Dahr Jamail on Iraq War Vet Court Martialed over his Stop Loss Song

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We’re joined by journalist Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone, Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. He’s been on tour with his latest book, The Will to Resist, Soldiers who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his February 8th article in TruthOut.org, “Army Imprisons Soldier for Singing Against Stop-Loss Policy,” is also about a soldier who has resisted further military service. Iraq War Veteran Marc Hall was stop-lossed after a 15 month tour. His original protest song about the stop loss policy landed him in prison in Liberty County Georgia, and the Army will send him back to Iraq for court martial proceedings.

At a White House concert February 10th President Barack Obama praised the singers and song writers who would risk being sent to jail during the civil rights era as they spoke out for what they believed.
Obama said, “Dr. King himself once acknowledged that he didn’t see “the real meaning of the movement” until he saw young people singing in the face of hostility. …You see, it’s easy to sing when you’re happy. It’s easy to sing when you’re among friends. It’s easy to sing when times are good. But it is hard to sing when times are rough. It’s hard to sing in the face of taunts, and fear, and the constant threat of violence. It’s hard to sing when folks are being beaten, when leaders are being jailed.”

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