News Release

Five Years After Invading Iraq

IMAD KHADDURI
Khadduri is author of the book Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions. He worked on the Iraq nuclear weapons program beginning in 1981 and left Iraq for Canada in the late 1990s. Before the invasion of Iraq, Khadduri argued that, contrary to what the Bush administration was claiming, the Iraqi nuclear weapons program had been dismantled. He now writes the “Free Iraq” blog.
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JAMES PAUL
Paul is executive director of Global Policy Forum, which has released an extensive report titled “War and Occupation in Iraq.” It documents issues from the destruction of cultural heritage to corruption to long-term bases and the new U.S. embassy compound. The report states: “Most public discussion of Iraq today — especially in the United States — focuses on inter-ethnic conflict among Iraqis, the ‘civil war,’ ethnic cleansing, terror bombings and the like. Commentators often blame these tragedies on flawed concepts such as Iraqis’ age-old ethnic hatreds, the extremism of Islam, or the meddlesome impulses of neighboring countries. Anything but the occupation itself.”

Paul said today: “One issue that frequently gets scant attention is there are some 60,000 prisoners in Iraq, with 24,000 being held by the United States. These are unlawful detainees being held without charge or trial.

“Another major issue is the extensive air war. Balad Airbase, north of Baghdad, is probably the busiest air facility in the world. Now, some of that is supply shipments, but fundamentally, it’s attacks — everything from drones to fixed wing [planes], all coming at an enormous cost of human life.”
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KEVIN and MONICA BENDERMAN
Kevin Benderman was imprisoned for 13 months after trying to apply for conscientious objector status. His book Letters from Ft.Lewis Brig is co-authored with his wife, Monica Benderman. He said: “I was in charge of a group of soldiers who were in their late teens through their early twenties and I had to constantly tell them to keep their heads down because they thought that the war was like the video games that they played back at the barracks. War is not like that at all and until you have the misfortune to engage in it for yourself you cannot begin to understand how insane it all is.”

Monica Benderman added: “There is a great deal that people need to be aware of when it comes to emerging conscience, especially when it comes from inside soldiers who actually believed they were giving their lives for something good, only to learn the truth is something vastly different — and to learn that what had given them hope was only an illusion.” Her latest piece is “Where Are We Going?
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167