Bulletin #197




26 August 2005

Cosne d'Allier, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


It was in the late 1960's that Lenny Bruce told his listeners at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles : "What we need is newer and better clichés!" This was the era when oil tycoons from Texas and Christian fundamentalists from the Bible Belt were still considered among the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, and despite the din of the anti-war movement ("Hey, hey LBJ ! How many babies did you kill today ?") we could still hear the echo of President Johnson's optimistic slogan, "War on poverty,” in the corridors of his "Great Society." I was barley twenty years old at the time.


Today, many of us living amidst the debacle of superpowers have witnessed the line between realism and surrealism all but vanish. Dewight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Arnold Schwartzenegger --these names alone are enough to map the trajectory of American democracy over the past decades. The new battle cry of the militant ruling classes is : "War on the poor!" (both at home and abroad). The widely acknowledged shortcomings of Global Capitalism have given rise to tactics such as preventative wars and national security legislation which were conceived as a way to stabilize an increasingly unsteady political economy.


Another tactic essential to this utopian project of defending capitalism in the face of crises is the rewriting of history in conformity with familiar Hollywood themes like cowboys & Indians, or like heroic American war stories with ultimate victories against dark evils in Asia, Africa and Latin America, or like an idealized corporate social order where "father knows best", or like the multicultural adventures of the technologically elite crew on the Space Ship Enterprise, etc., etc.... Fictions such as these must be indistinguishable from real history if social class conflicts, caused by economic inequalities and political injustices, are to be successfully ignored by nations of consumers, and even then we must allow that the intellectual disarming of a people does not always guarantee their absolute submission to a "new order".


Defenders of the private profit motive (that shibboleth of capitalist status quo, now enshrined by neo-liberal ideologues who give  eloquent testimony to the famous French axiom : plus ça change plus c'est la même chose) are doomed to fail, not because they will be successfully challenged and defeated by socialists or some other organized opposition, but because the environment in which we all live --progressives, as well as conservatives and reactionaries-- is being destroyed by the aggressive political economy which largely governs our everyday behavior.


Authoritarian capitalism, with its focus on social control and consumerism, is self-defeating. As an economic system it is ultimately incompatible with life on this planet. To quote Oscar Wild, when commenting on the wallpaper in the dismal hotel room in Paris where he lay dying : "One of us must go!" In today's world, the choice is between humanity or capitalism.


Frederick Engels' mechanical 19th-century formula attempting to prove that the "cure is in the disease" --that capitalism must inevitably collapse, and thereby give rise to a more equitable socialist society-- is no longer tenable. A militant ruling class is now in hot pursuit of a chimera, and the "collateral damage" they continue to inflict on all of us is paradoxically the path to their own destruction, as well. They simply do not care.



Here at the end of summer, only a few days before classes resume at the University of Grenoble, our Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements shares with readers articles that we've received most recently giving analytical depth to some important aspects of American civilization.



Item A. is an article by Steven Weisman, published in NewPimp Times and forwarded to us by Professor Richard Du Boff, that deals  with the Bush administration's concern for damage control over his entirely predictable Iraqi fiasco.


Item B. is an essay sent to us by Professor Edward Herman on imperialism in Africa, yesterday and today, written by Richard Drayton published in the Guardian (London).


Item C. is an article by investigative reporter (and sometimes-humorist) Greg Palast who explains Lance Armstrong's bike ride with President Bush over the grave of Casey Sheehan in Crawford, Texas.


Item D. is an essay by historian Harvey Wasserman, first published last March by Free Press Magazine and recently sent to us by Grenoble University graduate student, Mike Arresta, who was part of the CEIMSA Collective last year that translated Jim Hightower's book, Thieves in High Places, for our French publisher. Here Mike is struck by references made by the highly respected conservative Democrat, U.S. Senator, Robert Byrd, about President George W. Bush being "a modern-day Hitler" and about the Republican Party being a "neo-fascist organization".


And finally, item E. is a report sent to us by Dahr Jamail < http://dahrjamailiraq.com/ > on the desperate need for doctors this month in the killing fields of northern Iraq.




Francis McCollum Feeley

Professor of American Studies/

Director of Research

Université Stendhal-Grenoble III





from Richard B. Du Boff

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005

Subject: Repairing America's image abroad: the 20% solution




Some State Department officials involved in public diplomacy for many years say that Ms. Hughes's arrival will simply reinforce practices already being carried out . . . .  Edward P. Djerejian, a former ambassador and White House spokesman . . . headed a task force that concluded in 2003 that hostility toward the United States had reached "shocking" levels. Mr. Djerejian said that in talking with Ms. Hughes and Ms. Rice, it was clear that they understood that roughly 80 percent of the explanation for the poor American image stemmed from American policies, but that much could be done to improve the communication of those policies to affect the other 20 percent.





NewPimp Times August 21, 2005


Bush Confidante Begins Task of Repairing America's Image Abroad




WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 - For years, President Bush has called on Karen P. Hughes, his confidante from Texas, to help devise replies to attacks from political foes. Now Ms. Hughes, installed at the State Department, plans to set up "rapid response" teams to counter bad news and defend administration policies around the globe.


The teams, to be set up in the Middle East and elsewhere, are one of several initiatives being prepared by Ms. Hughes, who took office this week as under secretary of public diplomacy. The initiatives are part of what Bush administration officials say will be an aggressive drive to repair America's poor image abroad, particularly in Muslim countries.


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview this week that the units would "work to deal with misinformation and misinterpretation." During the war in Afghanistan, Ms. Rice said, the administration discovered that it had to rebut "all kinds of lies about what we were doing."


For instance, Ms. Rice said, the administration discovered that allegations of Koran desecration at the Guantánamo Bay detention center, particularly what turned out to be an unfounded report of a Koran being flushed down a toilet, were spread throughout the media in Muslim countries before the United States could respond.


"What we found with rapid response is it does have to be 24-hour and at least a lot of it has to be in the field, not back in Washington, just because of the nature of the time cycle," she said.


In addition, State Department officials say, Ms. Hughes, a former television reporter, plans to lead an interagency "public diplomacy" operating group, including top public affairs officials at the Pentagon, and to change the way Foreign Service officers are evaluated for promotion, placing more emphasis on public relations skills.


Ms. Rice suggested further that the administration would increase funds for educational exchanges and try to make it easier to get visas for such programs. This year, the administration has asked Congress for $430 million to bring students, academics, cultural figures and others to the United States, and to send Americans abroad, a 20 percent increase from last year.


In recent years, State Department officials say, proportionately more of these programs have been focused on the Middle East and South Asia, which now account for about 25 percent of the financing.


Though President Bush and Ms. Rice promised a revamped "public diplomacy" drive in January, it has taken months for Ms. Hughes to begin her job, partly because she has wanted to get her son ready for college. In the summer of 2002, Ms. Hughes resigned from the White House to take her family back to Texas.


Ten days ago, Ms. Hughes laid out her plans for public diplomacy at a meeting with Mr. Bush at the president's ranch in Crawford, Tex. She was joined by Ms. Rice and Ms. Hughes's deputy, Dina Powell, a former White House personnel director. But she has declined interview requests, saying that she needs more time to flesh out her ideas.


Other officials, asking not to be identified because the plans are not final, provided some details, including information about what they said were Ms. Hughes's plans to travel to Europe and the Middle East and to do as much listening as talking on her trips.


She has met with Muslim students, clerics and academics in Washington and with ambassadors of Muslim countries. Early in the week, she directed the State Department to send new summaries of American policies on the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the Iraqi constitution to embassies overseas.


Various independent reports on the problem of public diplomacy have said that most of America's image problems stem from American policies, like the detainees at Guantánamo Bay and support for Israel.


Ms. Rice, in the interview on Wednesday, said that in the future, more weight would be given to public diplomacy in the policy-making process but that this did not mean that the United States would shut down the Guantánamo Bay detention center.


"What I don't want to imply is that we're going to change policy because it's unpopular," Ms. Rice said. "It's a hard problem. Public diplomacy isn't going to help us with the fact that there's still some hard problems that we're going to have to deal with."

Some State Department officials involved in public diplomacy for many years say that Ms. Hughes's arrival will simply reinforce practices already being carried out. Among the officials consulted by Ms. Hughes is Edward P. Djerejian, a former ambassador and White House spokesman, who headed a task force that concluded in 2003 that hostility toward the United States had reached "shocking" levels.


Mr. Djerejian said that in talking with Ms. Hughes and Ms. Rice, it was clear that they understood that roughly 80 percent of the explanation for the poor American image stemmed from American policies, but that much could be done to improve the communication of those policies to affect the other 20 percent.


He said he expected that Ms. Hughes would more closely track what was said about the United States on the television networks Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya and in other Arab news media and try to counter bad publicity quickly. The effort to respond to reports on Koran desecration, he said, was "a disaster."


Some State Department officials said part of the problem in that episode was the difficulty of having the State Department defending policies on detaining suspected terrorists when the policies were made by the Pentagon.


Officials at Al Jazeera, for example, said they invited a Pentagon spokesman to discuss the Koran allegations but could not get anyone to go on the air. Pentagon public affairs officials countered that they were unaware of the requests from Al Jazeera.


Mr. Djerejian said his committee had recommended that a high-level official at the White House be in charge of the administration's public diplomacy but dropped that idea when Ms. Hughes was appointed at the State Department because of her closeness to the White House.

"Conceptually and strategically they are seized with the importance of this problem," said Mr. Djerejian, referring to Ms. Hughes and Ms. Rice. "They have the ability to do something about it because they have the ear of the president."






from: Edward Herman

Subject: British empire: Built on African exploitation (Richard Drayton)

Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

(c) Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005





This powerful piece is not likely to show up in the NYT.

Ed Herman




The wealth of the west was built on Africa's exploitation

(Britain has never faced up to the dark side of its imperial history)

by Richard Drayton


Saturday August 20, 2005

Guardian (London)


Britain was the principal slaving nation of the modern world. In The Empire Pays Back, a documentary broadcast by Channel 4 on Monday, Robert Beckford called on the British to take stock of this past. Why, he asked, had Britain made no apology for African slavery, as it had done for the Irish potato famine? Why was there no substantial public monument of national contrition equivalent to Berlin's Holocaust Museum? Why, most crucially, was there no recognition of how wealth extracted from Africa and Africans made possible the vigour and prosperity of modern Britain? Was there not a case for Britain to pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves?


These are timely questions in a summer in which Blair and Bush, their hands still wet with Iraqi blood, sought to rebrand themselves as the saviours of Africa. The G8's debt-forgiveness initiative was spun successfully as an act of western altruism. The generous Massas never bothered to explain that, in order to benefit, governments must agree to "conditions", which included allowing profit-making companies to take over public services. This was no gift; it was what the merchant bankers would call a "debt-for-equity swap", the equity here being national sovereignty. The sweetest bit of the deal was that the money owed, already more than repaid in interest, had mostly gone to buy industrial imports from the west and Japan, and oil from nations who bank their profits in London and New York. Only in a bookkeeping sense had it ever left the rich world. No one considered that Africa's debt was trivial compared to what the west really owes Africa.


Beckford's experts estimated Britain's debt to Africans in the continent and diaspora to be in the trillions of pounds. While this

was a useful benchmark, its basis was mistaken. Not because it was excessive, but because the real debt is incalculable. For without Africa and its Caribbean plantation extensions, the modern world as we know it would not exist.


Profits from slave trading and from sugar, coffee, cotton and tobacco are only a small part of the story. What mattered was how the pull and push from these industries transformed western Europe's economies. English banking, insurance, shipbuilding, wool and cotton manufacture, copper and iron smelting, and the cities of Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow, multiplied in response to the direct and indirect stimulus of the slave plantations.


Joseph Inikori's masterful book, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England, shows how African consumers, free and enslaved,

nurtured Britain's infant manufacturing industry. As Malachy Postlethwayt, the political economist, candidly put it in 1745: "British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation."


In The Great Divergence, Kenneth Pomeranz asked why Europe, rather than China, made the breakthrough first into a modern industrial economy. To his two answers -abundant coal and New World colonies- he should have added access to west Africa. For the colonial Americas were more Africa's creation than Europe's: before 1800, far more Africans than Europeans crossed the Atlantic. New World slaves were vital too, strangely enough, for European trade in the east. For merchants needed precious metals to buy Asian luxuries, returning home with profits in the form of textiles; only through exchanging these cloths in Africa for slaves to be sold in the New World could Europe obtain new gold and silver to keep the system moving. East Indian companies led ultimately to Europe's domination of Asia and its 19th-century humiliation of China.


Africa not only underpinned Europe's earlier development. Its palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, platinum and in particular gold were and are crucial to the later world economy. Only South America, at the zenith of its silver mines, outranks Africa's contribution to the growth of the global bullion supply.


The guinea coin paid homage in its name to the west African origins of one flood of gold. By this standard, the British pound since 1880 should have been rechristened the rand, for Britain's prosperity and its currency stability depended on South Africa's mines. I would wager that a large share of that gold in the IMF's vaults which was supposed to pay for Africa's debt relief had originally been stolen from that continent.


There are many who like to blame Africa's weak governments and economies, famines and disease on its post-1960 leadership. But the fragility of contemporary Africa is a direct consequence of two centuries of slaving, followed by another of colonial despotism. Nor was "decolonisation" all it seemed: both Britain and France attempted to corrupt the whole project of political sovereignty.

 It is remarkable that none of those in Britain who talk about African dictatorship and kleptocracy seem aware that Idi Amin came to power in Uganda through British covert action, and that Nigeria's generals were supported and manipulated from 1960 onwards in support of Britain's oil interests. It is amusing, too, to find the Telegraph and the Daily Mail - which just a generation ago supported Ian Smith's Rhodesia and South African apartheid - now so concerned about human rights in Zimbabwe. The tragedy of Mugabe and others is that they learned too well from the British how to govern without real popular consent, and how to make the law serve ruthless private interest. The real appetite of the west for democracy in Africa is less than it seems. We talk about the Congo tragedy without mentioning that it was a British statesman, Alec Douglas-Home, who agreed with the US president in 1960

that Patrice Lumumba, its elected leader, needed to "fall into a river of crocodiles".


African slavery and colonialism are not ancient or foreign history; the world they made is around us in Britain. It is not merely in

economic terms that Africa underpins a modern experience of (white) British privilege. Had Africa's signature not been visible on the body of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, would he have been gunned down on a tube at Stockwell? The slight kink of the hair, his pale beige skin, broadcast something misread by police as foreign danger. In that sense, his shooting was the twin of the axe murder of Anthony Walker in Liverpool, and of the more than 100 deaths of black people in mysterious circumstances while in police, prison or hospital custody since 1969.


This universe of risk, part of the black experience, is the afterlife of slavery. The reverse of the medal is what WEB DuBois called the

"wage of whiteness", the world of safety, trustworthiness, welcome that those with pale skins take for granted. The psychology of racism operates even among those who believe in human equality, shaping unequal outcomes in education, employment, criminal justice. By its light, such all-white clubs as the G8 continue to meet in comfort.


Early this year, Gordon Brown told journalists in Mozambique that Britain should stop apologising for colonialism. The truth is, though, that Britain has never even faced up to the dark side of its imperial history, let alone begun to apologise.



Dr Richard Drayton is a senior lecturer in imperial and extra-European history since 1500 at Cambridge University. His book The Caribbean and the Making of the Modern World will be published in 2006.






from: Greg Palast

Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005

Subject: Armstrong Bikes With President Over Sheehan Grave




by Greg Palast


Crawford, Texas - Celebrity bike champ Lance Armstrong joined President George W. Bush this weekend at the Crawford Ranch to celebrate the thirtieth day of the President's vigil against Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in action in Iraq. 


Armstrong, fresh from his victory in the Tour De France, is seen here with Mr. Bush riding across the symbolic gravesite of Casey Sheehan, deceased Army specialist, son of the bereaved Mrs. Sheehan. 


"We must stay the course," said a resolute Mr. Bush who vowed to "extend my vacation as long as necessary to accomplish this mission" and force Sheehan to give up her siege of the Western White House.


Armstrong set an upbeat tone when he said, "You know, I overcame cancer to become a hot-shot biker.  It takes hard work and a belief in yourself that says, "Never give up, never say 'die.'"


A Presidential spokesman said that given the Commander-in-Chief's limited work schedule and attention span, he would not have time to see Mrs. Sheehan.  However, a place in the schedule had to be made for Mr. Armstrong because the celebrity peddler, like the President, has several major corporate sponsors with urgent needs.


Armstrong said he thought it inappropriate to politicize the office of the president, noting that his own appearance at the ranch was arranged by the Discovery Channel, "for craven commercial purposes only."


Mr. Bush, backing over the symbolic gravestone, said he understood the difficulty of military families with kin in Iraq.  During the war in Vietnam, the President was a combat pilot assigned to protect Houston from Viet Cong attack.



Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his commentaries at www.GregPalast.com. 




from Mike Arresta

Subject: Bush and Rove equals Hitler

Date: 25 Aug 2005



Mr Feeley,

Here's an interesting article from the Free Press Magazine which unveils some obvious parallels between Bush/Rove's tactics "to bring democracy overseas" and Hitler/Goebbels' fascist methods to shut down what's against their wishes.




Senator Byrd is correct to equate Bush with Hitler

by Harvey Wasserman


March 7, 2005

The U.S. Senate's senior Constitutional scholar has correctly equated Bush with Hitler, and the usual attack dogs are howling. But they are wrong, and Americans must now face the harsh realities of an increasingly fascist and totalitarian GOP.


Octogenarian Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia made the equation in the context of Bush's attack on Senate procedures which might slow or halt his on-going attempt to pack the courts with extreme right-wing fanatics. Byrd said Bush's moves to destroy time-honored Senate rules parallel Hitler's ramming fascist legislation through his gutted Reichstag. "Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality," said Byrd. "He recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."


Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman has played the holocaust card for the Republicans, saying "It is hideous, outrageous and offensive for Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party's tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.


GOP Chair Ken Mehlman has labeled Byrd's remarks "reprehensible and beyond the pale," remarks joined by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum is best known for equating sexuality between consenting gays with bestiality between humans and dogs.


But Byrd is one of the few in either house of Congress to truly understand the Constitution and to advocate for the Bill of Rights. He points out that like Hitler, Bush is pursuing a strategy designed to win absolute rule by one party and one leader. Hitler's central slogan "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer" -- one people, one government, one dictator -- accurately describes the current GOP strategy of Karl Rove, Bush's Joseph Goebbels.


Now the Republicans have renominated extreme right-wing judges to high courts from which they were barred prior to the 2004 election. With enhanced majorities in Congress, the GOP is moving to gut rules put in place to protect the rights of minorities within the government. For the GOP, as for Hitler, such safeguards are annoying barriers to absolute power.


These judges are consistent in their eagerness to protect the power and privilege of private corporations at the public expense, while simultaneously promoting the invasion of individual rights by the government. Masquerading as "free market/small government" advocates, GOP conservatives -- like Hitler's Nazis -- promote an all-powerful central government run by and for the corporations that sponsor them while crushing individual rights and liberties.


While Bush advocates for "democracy" overseas, the GOP is crushing it at home. These judicial nominees mean to further solidify Republican control of the court system, which they have added to their grip on the Executive, both houses of Congress and the media. The GOP is also gutting safeguards within the FBI and CIA, turning them into a personal police force that could parallel Hitler's Gestapo.


Because the regime wraps itself in the rhetoric of our democratic roots, it's emotionally difficult for Americans to equate Bush with Hitler. He is not, after all, running death camps like the ones Hitler used to exterminate millions of Jews, Gypsies, gays, unionists, Jehovah Witnesses, the elderly and infirm, birth defected and handicapped. But the distinction may be lost on the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died in the wholesale slaughter there, and whose land has been carpeted with radioactive depleted uranium which will kill for centuries.


Bush is now operating a classic concentration camp in Guantanamo. This infamous holding center operates entirely outside the rule of law, with prisoners held without charge, without evidence, without access to attorneys, family or the outside world.


At Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere -- including the US "civilian" prison system -- the door has been opened onto the Nazi world of officially sanctioned torture and systematic human degradation. The new Attorney General of the United States has explicitly endorsed their use. Despite some phony genuflections to the contrary, Bush has renounced the Geneva Accords and has clearly stamped this most notorious Nazi trademark on a party also in love with the death penalty.


Bush now holds some 2.2 million prisoners in the US gulag, the world's biggest prison population since the Nazis both by absolute number and by percentage of population. At least 800,000 Americans are held for victimless "drug" crimes, including marijuana. Thousands die each year from torture, rape, suicide and treatable disease. The system is designed to remove from the political process and, in many cases, exterminate people of color, alternative life style and political dissidence.


Is this worthy of the Nazi label?


Fascism has long been clearly and simply defined as corporate control of the state, with strong totalitarian, militaristic, anti-feminist and anti-gay characteristics.


Both Mussolini's Fascists and Hitler's Nazis used acts of terror and alleged terror to grab absolute power. Ranting at Bolshevism as the GOP now does against Islam, the Nazis used the burning of the Reichstag much as the GOP has capitalized on the terror attacks of September 11.


George W. Bush does not spellbind huge Goebbels-massed rallies as Hitler did. But he does not tolerate groups that might ask embarrassing questions, and has packed the nation's bloviator corps with servile panderers. Rove uses the mass media to manipulate and deceive in ways suited to the trappings of American culture as surely as Goebbels shaped Hitler's speeches to the German volksgeist.


Bush has courted both people of color and Jews. But his far right fundamentalist backers see all non-believers as children of Satan who must ultimately perish in a "cleansing" Armageddon that will allow only the chosen few into Heaven. Amidst the psychotic twists of the Book of Revelations, these are people who love Israel but hate Jews and all the other "un-saved." At its core, there is little to distinguish today's far-right Christian fundamentalism from Hitler's Aryan master racism.


The Bush/Rove view of science parallels that of Stalin. The Soviets slaughtered researchers whose data failed to confirm their theories. Today's GOP demands scientists fit their findings to the Bush/Rove gospel. The Bush EPA, Fish & Wildlife Service and other agencies routinely assault those who challenge corporate destruction of the earth. Despite the long-standing consensus on global warming, Bush's faith-based corporate-sponsored climatology insists CO2 emissions are no problem, the scientific equivalent of claiming the Nazi Holocaust never happened.


Like Hitler, Bush believes he talks to and for God. He has said at least twice in public that he does not oppose dictatorship as long as he can be the dictator. His family has long, well-documented financial and political ties to the Nazi regime, as well as to Osama bin Laden and a long list of oil-rich Islamic fundamentalists.


Senator Byrd's invocation of the Nazis to describe the Bush regime may be considered impolitic. But it's folly to ignore the important parallels.


By all accounts American democracy is hanging by a thin thread which Bush/Rove is laboring mightily to cut.


Sen. Robert Byrd is a conservative, uniquely learned man. When he equates Bush with Hitler, he speaks with great sadness and scholarship -- and must be heeded.


As those "W" bumper stickers morph into swastikas in the killing fields of Guantanamo, Iraq, and the American prison system, we must, at Sen. Byrd's urging, revive recent history's most vital vow: "Never Again."



Many of Harvey Wasserman's relatives perished in the Nazi holocaust. His HISTORY OF THE US is at www.harveywasserman.com.





from Dahr Jamail

Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005

Subject: Iraq Dispatches: Urgent Humanitarian Crisis in Western Iraq




This is an appeal written by Iraqi Doctors concerning

what is happening in western Iraq. It is both extremely

informative as well as an important appeal. Operations

in many of these areas are ongoing today, despite the

fact that this press release is a week old.







As US/ Iraqi military attacks continue in Haditha, Rawa, Parwana and Heet in the West of Iraq, Doctors for Iraq is warning of an urgent health and humanitarian crisis unfolding on the ground.



Haditha, Rawa and Parwana have been under attack for the past three weeks with US/ Iraqi military activities intensifying over the past few days. The main hospitals in the area are reporting shortages of medicine oxygen, sugerical kits, anti-biotics and other basic medicines.


Civilians have fled to neighbouring towns and villages such as Ana and are in need of basic foods, water and shelter. Shop keepers are unable to open their premises because of the US/ Iraqi operation, and trucks with urgent food supplies are facing serious difficulties entering the seiged areas.


Eyewitnesses and medical personal have told Doctors For Iraq that snipers are operating inside some of the seiged cities. Haditha hospital estimates that at least eleven civilians were killed during the attack and 15 injured. The US military prevented ambulances from entering the areas and medics from working freely. The area remains under siege.


Local people say that US marines invaded the town of Rawa and carried out air strikes bombing many buildings and homes. It unclear how many civilians have been killed or injured in the areas where the military is carrying out operations A school building in Parwana was bombed with people inside the school. It is unclear how many people were inside the school and who they were.


Doctors for Iraq has organized for medical aid to reach some of the hospitals and a medical team has been sent to the affected areas.


The military operations in the West of Iraq have left the healthcare system paralyzed. Hospitals in the area are unable to provide sufficient medical services for the population. The new military attacks are further compounding the suffering of people in the area.


Doctors for Iraq is calling for the immediate end of US/ Iraqi military attacks in the area.


Doctors for Iraqi is calling for an independent investigation into the serious breaches of the Geneva Convention, the alleged killing of

civilians and obstructing medical personal from carrying out there work.


We need urgent medical supplies to be delivered to the hospitals in the area.


For more information or to find out how you can send medical aid to the areas contact :

Dr. Salam Ismael



Or Aisha Ismael




More writing, photos and commentary at http://dahrjamailiraq.com





Francis McCollum Feeley

Professor of American Studies

Université Stendhal-Grenoble III

Director of Research at CEIMSA-IN-EXILE