Oct
26
2012

Stephen Zunes on foreign policy debate; Yifat Susskind on Iraq War’s toxic legacy

The final presidential debate, addressing international issues, managed to promote several falsehood about U.S. foreign policy. And: The toxic legacy of the Iraq War. New research, largely unreported in U.S. media, shows alarming levels of toxic lead, heavy metals and a massive increase in birth defects in the city of Fallujah, the site of two major offensives by the U.S. military.

Sep
03
2010

Phyllis Bennis on Obama Iraq policy, Dean Baker on Social Security

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: On August 31, President Obama announced the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq in a speech from the Oval office. While in a palace in Baghdad the commander of those combat operations, General Ray Odierno, announced that his job was over, proclaiming that in Iraq, "hope has replaced despair." This was all noted with little challenge by corporate media. We'll talk with Phyllis Bennis, of the Institute for Policy studies about the changing U.S. role in Iraq. Also on the show: Are Americans on the verge of losing one of the most popular […]

Mar
01
2009

Tom Ricks' Gamble

Justifying a kinder, gentler Iraq occupation

Photo Credit: Thomas Ricks/Penguin Books

Reporter Thomas Ricks’ new book The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, documents the military changes that took place in Iraq after the controversial troop “surge,” which is commonly credited with having greatly reduced violence in the country (Extra!, 11-12/07, 9-10/08). A Pentagon correspondent for the Washington Post, Ricks is also a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and writes the Best Defense blog at Foreign Policy.com. Ricks has been deeply embedded with the leadership of the “surge” and, as the book boasts, had “extraordinary privileged access” to Petraeus and […]

Oct
01
2008

Blurring the Lines on Iraq

Media pretend withdrawal is a ‘given’

Corporate media outlets seem intent on blurring the lines between the Iraq policies of John McCain and Barack Obama. “Campaigns’ Iraq Stances Seem to Hit a Middle Ground” was the headline of an August 1 Washington Post article by Karen DeYoung that reported that the candidates’ “debate over the future of U.S. troops in Iraq seems to have entered a broad new middle ground, in which the question is not whether to withdraw but rather the speed and circumstances of departure.” USA Today reported (8/4/08) that McCain and Obama’s Iraq War positions “seem to be drawing closer together.” To back […]

Sep
01
2008

Meanwhile, in Iraq . . .

When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki called for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troop (Der Spiegel, 7/19/08), U.S. corporate media coverage of his statement displayed a remarkable condescension. The New York Times' Steven Lee Myers (7/10/08) suggested that al-Maliki didn't mean what he was saying and was just doing what Iraqi politicians have to do, explaining that the prime minister's announcement "is partly a nod to Iraqi political realities, since Iraqi politicians must call for the end of the American occupation. No one in Iraqi realistically expects to throw out the Americans anytime soon--and few in Iraq […]

Jul
01
2008

Catherine Lutz on Iraq Military Bases

‘The images don’t show up on TV news’

Catherine Lutz--Photo Credit: Brown University

On June 5, the Independent newspaper in London reported on secret negotiations between the U.S. and Iraqi governments over a plan that would grant legal immunity to U.S. soldiers and private contractors, give the U.S. control over Iraqi airspace and allow for 50 military bases to be built in the country. Lawmakers in Iraq expressed outrage at the details of the report. Here in the United States, the story got only cursory attention from the press. CounterSpin talked to Catherine Lutz, a professor of anthropology at Brown University and the Watson Institute for International Studies, author of the book Home […]

May
01
2008

NPR Disappears Iraqi Dead

Editor's Note

npr

In a segment looking back on five years of the Iraq War, NPR anchor Scott Simon reported (3/15/08), “Estimates on the number of Iraqis killed range from 47,000 to 151,000, depending on the source.” But what sources are those? The New England Journal of Medicine (1/31/08) had a write-up of a survey, conducted by the Iraqi government for the World Health Organization, that estimated that 151,000 Iraqis had died by violence between the invasion and June 2006—so there’s NPR’s top figure. The NEJM write-up began: “Estimates of the death toll in Iraq from the time of the U.S.-led invasion in […]

Jan
01
2008

A Million Iraqi Dead?

The U.S. press buries the evidence

The Iraq War was sold to Americans in part as an intervention that would benefit Iraqis, "liberating" them from the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein. In retrospect, after no weapons of mass destruction were found and the alleged links to Al-Qaeda were debunked, this supposed humanitarian mission became the central justification for the invasion. Today, it is a major pillar of what support remains among the U.S. public for continuing the occupation. If Americans are to make informed judgments not only about the invasion of Iraq and whether the occupation should continue, but also about future wars our government may […]