The Shame of the Independent

The author William Shawcross has written a letter to the Independent newspaper complaining about their coverage of the death of Marla Ruzicka. Sir: Marla Ruzicka was a brave and selfless woman who did an enormous amount in her short life for innocent victims of conflict. To run the story of her death under the splash headline “The senseless death of the woman who fought George Bush” (19 April) is totally misleading. She was murdered by a suicide bomber in Iraq. Your editorial rightly praised her work and you said her legacy “should put many politicians in America, and in our … Continue reading The Shame of the Independent

Mandela Advisor leads UN team to help Iraqis draft new constitution

Nicholas Fink Haysom was a legal advisor to Nelson Mandela throughout his term of office as president of South Africa. A constitutional expert, Haysom has been designated by the UN to lead its team to work with Iraqis to draft a new constitution. Haysom has vast experience having worked as a consultant on constitutional reform, conflict resolution and good governance in Lebanon, Nigeria, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Sudan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. The UN website expresses its hope that the expertise of the UN team, and the standing of the UN will be used in the process. Any further UN-isation of the … Continue reading Mandela Advisor leads UN team to help Iraqis draft new constitution

Valuing all lives: a tribute to Marla Ruzicka

Marla Ruzicka, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, is remembered by her friends in an article at Common Dreams. Marla sought to record the innocent victims of the conflict in Afghanistan and in Iraq and, as the Independent editorial puts it today, to “put a human face on the victims of US military intervention.” LFIQ concurs that there needs to be an independent and fully funded study to discover the true number of deaths in Iraq not just those of foreign soldiers.

Iraq: Latest Quality of Life Indicators

The Brookings Institute is an independent think-tank based in Washington. It is associated with the liberal wing of US Politics. Every Monday and Thursday it updates a comprehensive Iraq Index, a catalogue of statistics relating to Iraq reconstruction and opinion. The latest quality of life indicators show progress but the pace of improvement remains frustratingly slow. Countries that have pledged donations need to deliver. Reconstruction funds needs to be dispersed. Unemployment remains the number one priority for the new Iraqi government and the coalition. Here are some of the key indicators (AJ):

Labour’s manifesto on Iraq

The Labour Party manifesto says the following: ‘We mourn the loss of life of innocent civilians and coalition forces in the war in Iraq and the subsequent terrorism. But the butchery of Saddam is over and across Iraq 8 million people risked their lives to vote earlier this year. Many people disagreed with the action we took in Iraq. We respect and understand their views but we should now unite to support the fledgling democracy in Iraq. British troops should remain there under a UN mandate as long as the democratically elected Government wants them there. They will continue to … Continue reading Labour’s manifesto on Iraq

Friends will be friends…

RespectWatch is dedicated to exposing and combating George Galloway and his Respect Party. It carries election campaign materials, like this picture and the following factsheet. Jane Ashworth

Watch this on Women in Iraq

Last night’s Newsnight showed a fantastic 10 minutes from Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger and Guardian columnist, looking at the role women are playing in building a new Iraq and quite how difficult, and dangerous, that can be. The piece is available on Newsnight until 10pm tonight. Go to video and then 33 minutes into the programme. Jane Ashworth

The pipe of peace?

David Ignatius of the Washington Post examines the possibility of a new oil pipeline through Iraq’s nastiest war zone.

US military elite’s worries about prisoner abuse in Iraq

Columnist Bob Herbert in the New York Times speaks to former members of the US military elite who are horrified by the torture and abuse scandal that has spread through some sectors of the US military. Brig. Gen. James Cullen and Rear Adm. John Hutson have lent their support to New York-based group, Human Rights First, which, along with the American Civil Liberties Union has issued an extraordinary lawsuit that seeks to hold Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ultimately accountable for policies that have given rise to torture and other forms of prisoner abuse.