News Release

Assessing Iraq

DAVID ENDERS
Enders is a journalist who has spent nearly half of the last four years in Iraq and is author of the book “Baghdad Bulletin.” He said today: “Any progress the military is claiming to have made in Iraq should be looked at in the big picture: the prison population is larger than ever, and some of the drop in violence can likely be attributed to neighborhoods having been effectively ‘cleansed.’ You also have the problem of millions of refugees, many of whom have had their homes taken from them. What will happen to them? Just because fewer U.S. troops are dying does not mean the situation is ‘better.'”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post published a story headlined “All Iraqi Groups Blame U.S. Invasion for Discord, Study Shows.”

Added Enders: “A reason all factions blame the U.S. is that from the very beginning of the occupation, the focus has been on sectarian quotas and playing one group off another.” Enders’s most recent piece is “Make-a-Sheikh: How the Pentagon transformed a contractor into a symbol of the surge’s ‘success’.”
More Information

KATHY KELLY
Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly recently returned to Chicago from Amman, Jordan. She said today: “In Amman, I lived amongst Iraqis who have fled the violence in their country. While there, I also learned from the perspectives of UN and other NGO workers attempting to deal with the humanitarian catastrophe.

“While there has been much celebration of lessened violence in Iraq because the numbers of deaths caused by car bomb explosions and suicide attacks have gone down, U.S. leaders still have not come to grips with responsibilities we bear for having waged a war of choice against Iraq which has caused displacement, trauma, bereavement and extremely harsh human rights violations within Iraq and in the countries to which desperate Iraqis have fled, seeking refuge and resettlement. Inside Iraq, people still lack basic needs, including access to electricity, adequate shelter, health care delivery, food, potable water and employment. In neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, millions of Iraqis are alarmed by rising prices, cuts in available subsidies, and their own dwindling resources.

“Even here in the United States, some Iraqis who have been resettled in U.S. cities find that their most basic needs are not being met. It’s true that the U.S. is one of the largest donors in support of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. But compared to the sums which the U.S. gives to military and defense expenditures for Iraq, what the U.S. has committed to assist with humanitarian needs is a pittance.”
More Information

CONN HALLINAN
A columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus, Hallinan wrote the article which states that “an enormous intensification of U.S. bombardments” in Iraq and Afghanistan entails an “increasing number of civilian casualties … and the growing role of pilot-less killers in the conflict.” He said today: “The air war continues in Iraq, there’s actually been a step-up in bombing runs. Meanwhile, there’s something of a drop-off in Afghanistan because the NATO coalition there is getting shaky.”

His most recent piece is “The Surge: Illusion and Reality,” which argues that a decrease in attacks on U.S. troops is more the result of political decisions by the U.S. government and Iraqi groups than the result of more U.S. troops in Iraq.
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.