Friday, February 09, 2007


Iraq; Refugees and Bombing

The Circle is Tightening
David Smith-Ferri, just back from visiting with Iraqi refugees in Jordan, analyzes President Bush's primary justifications for sending more US troops to Iraq.

"To anIraqi person in Amman who is fleeing a death threat and whose extended family remains exposed to the swirling chaos in Baghdad, talk of danger to American lives must surely seem cruel and laughable. Many of the Iraqis I met in Amman told me 'Life in Baghdad is impossible.' How willpeople still living in Baghdad, faced with a daily threat of violence and the impossibility of protecting and providing for their families, react to President Bush's urgent concern to protect the American people? How will they react to the notion that the American occupation is advancing liberty across a troubled region?"

Bombs over Baghdad: The Pentagon's Secret Air War in Iraq
A secret air war is being waged in Iraq -- often in and around that country's population centers -- about which we can find out little. The U.S. military keeps information on the munitions expended in its air efforts under tight wraps, refusing to offer details on the scale of use and so minimizing the importance of air power in Iraq. But expert opinion holds that the forms of aerial assault being employed in that country, though hardly covered in our media, may account for most of the U.S. and coalition-attributed Iraqi civilian deaths there since the 2003 invasion. While some aspects of the air war remain a total mystery, Air Force officials do acknowledge that U.S. military and coalition aircraft dropped at least 111,000 pounds of bombs on targets in Iraq in 2006.

Iraqi Refugees; Human Tragedies of War Torn Country

The State Department's Rosy Deception on Iraq Refugees
Iraq's Noah Merrill responds from Amman to a State Dept.release on Refugees: "A press release by the State Department dated February 6 describes the creation of a new task force on Iraqi refugees created by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Here, close to a million Iraqis,forced to flee violence in their neighborhoods and throughout their country, try to keep a low profile and scratch out an existence in a climate that is neither welcoming nor supportive. As more and more Iraqis are displaced inside and outside Iraq, the attitudes of host governments are becoming more and more hostile."

Top UN Official: Iraqi Displacement Largest in Region Since Palestinian Crisis of 1948

Speaking in Jordan as part of a week-long tour of the region to highlight the plight of displaced Iraqis, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said today that the scale of displacement of Iraqis represents the largest long-term population movement in the Middle East since the crisis created for Palestinians following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Asked about the potential for resettlement of Iraqi refugees to countries outside the Middle East, Guterres emphasized that resettlement was "not an option"for the majority of Iraqi asylum seekers, given the sheer scale of the problem. To illustrate, he cited the statistic that roughly 50,000 refugees were resettled worldwide last year, compared with the more than 750,000 that UNHCR estimates to reside in Jordan alone.

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