Image Wars and Real Wars:

Mr. Bush's war of words, and my discussions with an Iraqi and an American human shield

by Kristin Norderval

Human Shields to Baghdad: (REUTERS/Michael Crabtree)
published on NRK.no-Utenriks January 25, 2003
retrieved May 5, 2004 (Namaa Alward is second from the left in the front row)
http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/utenriks/2483106.html

LIBERATION or INVASION?

The White House has been engaged in an image war, trying to conceal the motives and strategies of the real war on Iraq with phrases about bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East and liberating Iraqis from a brutal dictator.   (This after the original reasons given for invasion - weapons of mass destruction - evaporated.)   In this image war George W. Bush casts himself as the defender of "good" in a simplistic battle of good and evil, playing opposite the dictator Saddam Hussein and denouncing all who oppose US military policy as enemies of democracy.   The irony is that in the real war Iraqis continue to demand that the US end the occupation so that they can hold elections as soon as possible and establish a sovereign nation. And the longer the US stays as occupier the more it mirrors the regime it has replaced.  

The much-used phrase "winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis" gives the impression that Bush's image war is directed at Iraqis - but actually the performance is intended for his domestic audience. A practice of distortion and "information disappearance" are the tactics for achieving a political end; the justification of the US administration's unpopular and illegal war on Iraq. To a certain extent these tactics have succeeded. As a result of endless repetition of distortions, 45% of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq and 57% believe Hussein gave substantial support to Al Qaeda, even though there is no known documentary or physical evidence to support those beliefs. Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, says:

  "Americans not only don't know that there's no evidence supporting the idea that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda or Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or even a major program for developing them, but they also don't know that most experts are saying the contrary. Only 15% think that the experts mostly agree that Iraq was not providing substantial support to al Qaeda. 82% think that experts either mostly agree Iraq was providing substantial support or are divided on the question.   Well, it's also very striking that these perceptions, these beliefs about Iraq are highly related to not only attitudes about the war, but also attitudes about who to vote for for President."

Yet in the long run, a policy of distortion eventually undermines and defeats those who engage in it. Daniel Nelson, a former foreign policy advisor, put it succinctly:

"To the degree that ignorance, arrogance, paranoia and greed are all present, those who make decisions about war and peace will pursue a capacity-driven strategy, conflate discourses of war and peace, and incessantly strive for security through strength. Such decision-makers will, thereby, create enemies from friends, replacing mutual trust with endemic suspicion and fear.

 This is George W. Bush's America. With each pre-emptive step towards global unilateralism, enemies multiply, friendships wane, and the imbalance between threats and capacities approaches critical. The smell of defeat hangs in the air."

The smell of defeat is not only hanging in the air, it is beginning to reek. Cracks are appearing in the preferred narrative of this war as a war of liberation.   The release of images of abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners by American forces in Abu Ghraib prison - abuse that according to an internal military report has been systematic and widespread - belies the image many Americans would like to have of their military as liberators.  

In response to the reports of abuse at Abu Ghraib, at the very the prison that was the site of torture and executions under Saddam, Bush still played his freedom card, claiming that this was not the America he knew, and in any case under Hussein no investigation would have taken place, so this in itself was proof of a democracy.   Of course this conveniently omitted the fact that no investigation would be taking place if the photos and secret military report had not been leaked to the press. Instead of apologizing or taking responsibility for what had occurred among the armed forces under his command, Bush predictably distanced himself.

"The America I know has sent troops into Iraq to promote freedom -- good, honorable citizens that are helping the Iraqis every day.

It's also important for the people of Iraq to know that in a democracy, everything is not perfect, that mistakes are made. But in a democracy, as well, those mistakes will be investigated and people will be brought to justice. We're an open society. We're a society that is willing to investigate, fully investigate in this case, what took place in that prison.

That stands in stark contrast to life under Saddam Hussein. His trained torturers were never brought to justice under his regime."  

How appropriate that the US government funded Arab television network that Bush was broadcasting on is called al-Hurra!   al-Hurra is Arabic for "the free one", but the English connotation can't have been lost on the English speaking funders. Or did those who named it have a sense of humor about a propaganda network?   Do they also think it's humorous that this "open society' under Bush has fostered the most censored press in American history? Not only have the mainstream press 'embedded' with the military responded to direct censorship of images and reports of this war, but they have also complied with an unprecedented level of self-censorship. The image war is continually fed with sound-bytes from the White House, while images from the real war have been barred or virtually absent from the screen and the page.

FRIENDS or ENEMIES?

In a time when the distortion and disappearance of information are the tactics the government uses to create its image war, it's important to get firsthand information from alternative sources. Bush characterized the human shields in Iraq last year as aiding Saddam's regime, and declared that the military would regard them as enemy combatants.   I thought it would be interesting to get the perspective of two people who were part of that human shield movement: one an Iraqi Muslim and former dissident, the other an American Jew. On April 12, 2004, and on May 6, 2004 I had a telephone conversations with Namaa Alward, an Iraqi friend who lives in Oslo, and with Judith Karpova, who lives in upstate New York, and who was in the same human shield group as Namaa.   In the April conversations we focused on the situation around Fallujah. In May I asked for follow-up information as well as responses to the revelation of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.

Knowing Namaa has been the key to my own awareness of the gap between the image war and the real war. My personal experiences with her over the years stand in stark contrast to the images of Iraqis that I see portrayed in the mainstream US media.

Namaa Alward was a well-known actress in Iraq, and was very active in the resistance movement against Saddam Hussein in the 70's and 80's. She was forced to flee her homeland in the mid-80's, and came to Norway along with her two small sons as a political refugee. Here she carved out a new life, continuing to work in theater and film, as well as for humanitarian organizations.

Namaa's family are mostly Shiite, but two of her brothers-in-law are Sunni, as are other members of her family.   Her mother, who is disabled, and her sisters still live in Baghdad, but a brother escaped to Australia after the first Gulf War.   Her father, who was an eminent Iraqi sculptor, is no longer alive.

Namaa's Iraqi friends in Oslo are a diverse group. The second Iraqi friend I met through Namaa was a gay man who had fled to Norway after experiencing the horrors of serving in the Iraqi army in the first Gulf War. He is a soft-spoken man and an incredible belly dancer. The third Iraqi I met was an Iraqi Jew who talked to me about his family back home and what it was like to be an Arab Jew. I met another Iraqi-in-exile at an exhibition of his paintings; large-scale mural-like oil paintings, and small-scale wonderful ecstatic-erotic drawings. None of these men fit the picture that the US media portrays of Iraqi men. Nor does Namaa fit the media's portrayal of an Iraqi or an Arab woman. She is an urban political-activist, an intellectual and an adventurer. She celebrated her 48 th birthday with a visit to Svalbard, the world's northernmost research outpost, and surprised everyone by racing the guide of the snowmobile tour group across a glacier on her first time driving a snowmobile. She explained later that she had raced cars in Iraq.

When I was in Oslo in February 2004, Namaa was particularly upset with the dismantling of the Iraqi legal code by the provisional authorities, since this left women without the legal protection of laws which Iraqi feminists had pressed for and won in the 70's and 80's. We have talked many times about the US strategies of portraying Iraq as a backward and primitive region, about the disappearance of its history as a sophisticated urban culture that goes back thousands of years.   Iraqis are rightly proud of their country's heritage as the birthplace of many of the earliest human achievements - not only cultural, but in terms of engineering and urban design, water systems, etc. Iraqis in Norway sometimes refer to Norway as the Afghanistan of the North, since the development of urban culture in Norway is so geographically limited and has come so recently. In this regard the damage done both to cultural institutions and to Iraqi infrastructure by the continuous bombing of the country is particularly humiliating and painful.

When the United States was threatening Iraq with invasion last year Namaa decided to return to Iraq for the first time since her political exile - this time as a human shield. She was assuming a double risk of arrest - that of a political refugee returning to the regime she had opposed and that of an activist opposing the US military.   In our conversation she related how she felt and what she experienced going back.

It was difficult to cope with the government there. We were very clear - we are not supporting the dictatorship, we are supporting the people.   I managed by some miracle not to say anything good about Saddam.   Whenever the questions came about Saddam we would just say we are supporting the Iraqi people. That was really heavy - they tried to put you in a corner to say Saddam was a great leader.

We were afraid of Americans, and at the same time we were afraid of the government. As an Iraqi I knew I would be the first victim. There was only one other Iraqi   - from Sweden. They threatened him directly; told him that if he didn't obey their orders he would be killed. So we stopped communicating directly - we communicated just by eyes and signals.

In the last days I was really scared. The day after they deported 5 human shields we decided to leave.   We left and they confiscated our things, Camera-film, videofilms, address books, telephones. We couldn't get anything back.  

Given Namaa's firsthand knowledge of Saddam Hussein's brutality, Bush would argue that she should be among those who support the American invasion. But her position since the first Gulf War has been unwavering, and is summed up in the statement she made to reporters as she boarded the human shield bus in London in January 2003:

"Let them end the sanctions, stop this crazy war and allow us Iraqis sort out our own problems."

Judith Karpova is a middle-aged Jewish woman who was an active member of the resistance to the Vietnam war in her youth. She now lives in upstate New York, where she is converting her home to solar energy. Judith's account of what led her to travel to Iraq as a human shield illustrates the power of media portrayals of individuals. She had seen a video on Iraq, and in one portion there was an interview with a man who worked in the oil fields, and who had a retarded son.

The father was a big man, very quiet and gentle, and during the interview he had his son cradled in his arms and kept stroking his hair. His son had an incredible air of joy about him, and I just had the thought this child should not be taken from his father's arms, and that's what this war would do. They'd already lost one child in the previous war. This was a child who needed his family.

A little while later the filmmaker posed the camera on the family for a family portrait. Everyone was supposed to stand still, but the kids got fidgety and started to mug, and after a bit the parents started to laugh. It was just like any family in the world - if you make kids stand still long enough they will start mugging. And I thought   - I know who these people are - they became real to me. They became like neighbors to me.   And I decided then that I had to do all I could do to stop this war.

Describing what it was like to be there while Saddam Hussein was still in power Judith said:

Secret police were always with us. Keeping an eye on one's neighbor and reporting was a way of life. We never raised questions about how people felt about Saddam because it wasn't safe.   If a conversation came up we had to get out of it, since they were probably agents trying to get reasons to kick us out.

Judith also spoke of the controversies among the shields about the locations the Iraqi government allowed them to occupy:

Some said that because we weren't allowed to go everywhere we wanted that we were being controlled.   I think there's a difference between being forced to go certain places, and being restricted from certain places. Some of the shields were so afraid of being portrayed as being pro-regime, that they wanted 'pure' sites; hospitals, schools.   They [Iraqi officials] didn't want us at the hospitals since we'd get in the way, or at the schools, which were going to be empty. They needed us for water plants, but these weren't as pure since human beings of different categories were benefiting from them. It eventually descended into "you do what you do and I'll do what I do"

We were not going as NGO's or representatives of any government, but as individual citizens going to protect other individual citizens against a war.  

Both Namaa and Judith emphasized the importance of this third position - that they were individuals going to help other individuals, and had no wish to engage in a power play between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. Their stand was a critique of both. Though the human shields were not able to avert the war, their presence did seem to make a difference.

About fifty human shield people stayed on through the war. The US knocked down a lot of places to just build them up again and hand out contracts. But none of the sites where those people were based were bombed. .

The human shields were present at seven sites in Baghdad; water treatment plants, electrical plants, a telecommunications facility, a food silo, and an oil refinery. Each of those seven sites had been targeted in the first Gulf War, in spite of the fact that it is a war crime to destroy facilities that provide essential services to a civilian population.  

FREEDOM FIGHTER or TERRORIST?

In my conversation with Namaa on April 26 th I asked her about the recent events in Fallujah and asked her to comment on US media reports that these are uprisings instigated by foreign terrorists and hold-outs of Saddam's supporters. Her explanation of events there was that the conflict had started much earlier:

The American soldiers occupied a school in Fallujah last spring. There were peaceful demonstration asking the soldiers to leave. Soldiers fired on the crowds, shot and killed 15 civilians, among them children. The mentality of this area is a tribe mentality, a revenge based mentality. The struggle started then. It had nothing to do with Saddam's supporters or those who benefited from him. People there killed some Americans, the Americans retaliated and it led to a cycle of revenge.

Here is another example of "information disappearance".   I remember reports of the protests and the killings at the school, but I was not aware that they were in Fallujah. I have not seen the link between these earlier events and the current situation enumerated anywhere in the US media.   Other recent information that was 'disappeared' are the three deaths at the hands of Americans that Namaa related to me:

A tank drove over 2 people and killed them when they were protesting because of the closing of the newspaper of Sadr. One man got killed by beating. The Americans pulled him out of his car - they asked him to take down the picture of Sadr he had in his car. He refused and they started beating him, and killed him.

Last week - one of the men of religion from Najaf commented, "well they told us democracy means to protest by civilized and non-violent ways. We protested that way and we got killed.   Now we're not going to continue with that. If we kill and get killed - that's ok - but if we protest peacefully and get killed...  

According to Namaa, reactions to the closure of the radical cleric al-Sadr's newspaper and the targeting of him as a terrorist have solidified support for him:

The announcement today that Sadr is like a fugitive -   that he will be killed or captured - this is a provocation of the Iraqi people. They are not only breaking us, but shitting on us. I don't think Iraqis will accept that. Christians, Kurdish, Sunni, Shia have now all united behind him.

Namaa and I talked many times about the strategy fostered by both Saddam Hussein and the Americans of promoting ethnic distrust and hatreds in the region in order to more easily control a divided population.   This came up again in our telephone conversation on April 12, 2004.

Americans call this area the Sunni triangle. We never thought of these divisions. People interacted, Kurdish, Arabs, Sunni, Shiite and Jewish - it wasn't an issue. But the Americans were talking already in 1991 about dividing Iraq into three parts. Henry Kissinger was behind the scenes and has written of strategies the US had for the Middle East, of dividing it like a chess board.

On April 25, 2004 The New York Times reported:

  "In Washington, officials still describe the fear of uprisings in Iraq as a theory, one they say may be overblown. But it clearly has Mr. Bush and his advisers deeply concerned. They have only ten weeks to form an interim government, and it will be May, officials say, before the United Nations envoy charged to put together such a government, Lakhdar Brahimi, returns to Iraq."

According to Namaa:

They've been talking about preparing Iraqis to take over, but...   The government council has been saying time and time again (since the beginning) that they wanted to take over security but the Americans have not given that possibility, they have limited it. The Americans want to keep control.

On this point a New York Times article on April 22, supported her assertion.

" The Bush administration's plans for a new caretaker government in Iraq would place severe limits on its sovereignty, including only partial command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws, administration officials said Thursday."

This is Bush's democracy for Iraq: limits on its sovereignty, no command over its armed forces and no authority to enact new laws

Judith summarized the current situation in Iraq as follows:

"Briefly, I think the policies of  

•  complete suppression:   shooting demonstrators, raiding and looting homes, "disappearing" thousands of people, firing the army, reinstituting [sic] the secret police,

•  and the policy of allowing foreign companies to wholly own and privatize Iraqi resources, of exporting Iraqi oil instead of distributing it, of forcing Iraq to pay for its own reconstruction by borrowing against future oil sales, of not allowing Iraqis to participate in reconstruction and shooting people who try and rebuild things on their own

have combined to trigger an uncoordinated insurrection.   There is no question at this point that there will be civil war, these policies have driven factions together in opposition to the occupation.   I think there's a scramble going on in Iraq to get a coordinated resistance; the Communist Party was the best at this but was driven underground by Saddam Hussein.   I'm very worried about this country and about the rest of us because if the unilateralist aggression of the US isn't stopped in Iraq it will roll over many other countries and I believe there will be nuclear exchanges somewhere down the line."  

Yet even in the face of blatant corporate war-profiteering and the contravention of international law Bush continues to spout the rhetoric of 'freedom'.

"This is an historic moment. You see, a free society will be a peaceful society. A free society in the heart of the Middle East will begin to change the world for the better. No, they're trying to shake our will, but America will never be run out of Iraq by a bunch of thugs and killers."

In the image war, Bush fights for freedom against 'thugs and killers'. In the real war the US engages in illegal invasions, state-sponsored assassinations, detainment without charges, and uses torture systematically as a way of trying to obtain information.   There have been twenty-five recorded deaths in military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, unregistered Iraqi prisoners - "ghost detainees" - were moved around Abu Ghraib, in order to hide them from the Red Cross. Detention centers routinely held persons without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or the reason for their detention.   How can this possibly be described as moving towards a free society and peaceful society?

Iraqis have lived with spin and propaganda and repression for so many years they are extremely aware of all the tactics of repression.   In response to the prison abuse scandals and the expressions of shock coming from the US and Europe, Namaa commented:

  They say - we can't think this is happening - but look at Guantanamo! No this is another situation, they say. Look at Afghanistan, look at Palestine. The policy is a policy of aggression. Anyway it is old news for Iraq.   Everybody knows what has been happening in the prisons.

In an earlier conversation with Namaa in the fall of 2002 she had already drawn the parallel between Bush's and Saddam's tactics:

When I heard him (Bush) saying either you are with us or against us, it has reminded me of Saddam Hussein. I mean either a Baath party or you are against us so we had no choices. And who trained Saddam Hussein?   I mean the west has taken care of him. He was the son of the west, he's the son of the United States. He was brought up by them and he learned every single wisdom of aggression very well.

In May, 2004 after listening to Bush's statements on the Arab network al-Hurra, her comparison between Bush and Hussein was the following:

He is the caracature of Saddam - a bad copy. Saddam was very clever, he knew the mentality, but Bush knows nothing. For me he was like a doll where the words have been taken on CD or disc - no feelings, no humanity, like a wax face, only one expression painted on, only the mouth moving - miming the words coming out of the box.

I wished to hear that those who are responsible will be dealt with and the victims will be taken care of. No one is talking about the victims who need help getting back their lives, who need help to cope.   What about those people? They are fathers, they are grandfathers, young boys who should have a future. What about the women? There are women who have been raped and are pregnant.

My family in Baghdad - they say   'we don't listen at all - he's just talking to himself.'

I had asked Namaa in our conversation in April to compare her experience in the resistance under Saddam Hussein with the current situation.

  I have no mask now. Under Saddam Hussein I was afraid for the safety of my family. Now I have no mask any longer.

  The Americans are even worse than Saddam. They are killing Iraqis and they are foreigners. Snipers in Faluja are shooting at children .The Iraqi casualties are seven hundred this month, while there are only seventy allies. It is the same percentage as in Palestine.

The connection between the US and Israel comes up both in Iraqi identification with the fate of the Palestinians, and in the experience of   US military tactics and goals as parallel to Israel's:   tactics such as pre-emptive invasion and military maneuvers, the targeting of leaders for assassination, cordoning off cities and placing them under siege,   not allowing ambulances or aid workers access to the area, brutal retaliation against the general population, and the fomenting of chaos as a way to gain control. All of these are illegal under international law, but these violations of law and of UN resolutions disappear into the rhetoric of a 'new post 9/11 reality' that justifies any and all state terrorism.   

Along with an identification of Iraqis with Palestinians, there is also now an identification of Iraqis with Native Americans.   In my telephone conversation with Judith Karpova, on April 12, 2004 she recounted how one Iraqi woman who knew of the Native American museum in New York   compared it to what she thinks will become of Iraqis - that all that will be left will be a museum, and a few survivors living on reservations.   Judith recounted how the situation in Iraq also reminded her of a scene in the film   "The Emerald Forest" by John Boorman.   In this particular scene a cannibalistic tribe called the 'Fierce People' have kidnapped two men and are preparing to kill of one of them, surrounding him, moving in, constantly touching and intimidating him before his death.

That's what it's like now in Iraq. They're being crowded in on by forces that are pressing closer and closer, ready to eat. Try to demonstrate peacefully - they shoot. Try to build something - they shoot. Try to quietly go about your business - they bust into your home and loot everything you've got. The Iraqis, they're there to be eaten alive.   They're being consumed.

There is no willingness to let the least bit of autonomy exist.   It's partly a deep racism, and partly a calculated military strategy. It's so brutal. The US is manufacturing this image of an inferior dark skinned people; portraying them and denigrating them as savages.

But there's only so far that they can 'socialize the cost'. (Making private profit but socializing the risks with tax-payer money.) We're paying for it, but they're not making a profit yet except on things like charging double on oil from Kuwait, which backfires with scandal.   If the costs become too high they may get out.

I would like to see a common demand to shift our energy sources to renewables. That shift talks to creating new industries and jobs and addresses the root of what this war is about.   All the religious and ideological positions are just ways to get at the oil.   Japan, China are manufacturing competitors but are dependent on oil. With the US in control of Middle East oil, the US will be in a greater position to control their competitors.

The disappearance of all the constantly changing reasons for the invasion of Iraq have morphed into distorted and repeated phrases about 'freedom' and 'liberation' but the silent background chorus - oil - is so implicitly understood that it doesn't even need to be articulated anymore.   

In a television interview in El Salvador, Secretary of State Colin Powell is quoted as saying:

"We are anxious to give sovereignty back to the Iraqi people. We don't want to stay there in the current position that we are in now where we are running the country. We want Iraq to run the country."  

Against the reality of American actions, Powell's words are nothing short of double-speak, as Truthout's political commentator Steve Weissman makes clear.

'Washington is now building fourteen new military bases. Washington is sending in more troops. Washington controls Iraqi oil. And, so far, Washington refuses to give a new, supposedly sovereign government any real say over either our troops on their soil or their own armed forces and economic decision-making.

What Iraqis see is a huge American Embassy with a newly named Viceroy - John Negroponte - who served in Vietnam in the 1960s, supplied the Nicaraguan Contras from his post in Honduras, and - as UN Ambassador - lied and schemed to build support for invading Iraq.

What Iraqis do not see is any serious preparations for the national elections Washington has promised for no later than January 2005, but looks increasingly likely to put off once again."

In the context of such blatant distortions and double-speak, one begins to interpret the administration's statements as the direct opposite of their intentions.

Omitting historical and political background, and keeping Iraqis faceless, without details that contradict the portrayal of a barbaric 'other' is an important aspect of the image war behind the real war.    It is also a crucial part of what allows and encourages abuse and torture.   But as Judith pointed out, the torture is not an anomaly: it is pervasive, and connected to the entire operation:

The whole thing has been torture. The first gulf war was torture. The sanctions were torture. The invasion was torture, the occupation is torture. All of it has been torture - all of it. Demanding that Iraq mortgage its oil to pay for a war that was totally illegal in the first place - of course you're going to have torture, of course you're going to have looting. The whole concept is about torture and looting.

In one of her emails to me she closed with the following assessment:

"Iraq is very beautiful and the people are some of the most wonderful I've ever met: kind, educated, very dryly funny, incredibly articulate and astute, sensitive and hospitable.   The most striking quality about them to me, however, was a sense of resoluteness and determination.   I do not believe that they will back down."

It is time that Americans show the determination to look beyond the advertisements of the image war to the details of the real war, and demand that the White House honor the literal meanings of its phrases about freedom and democracy by withdrawing its forces from Iraq. Otherwise we have simply replaced one dictator with another.

  "Poll: U.S. Public Uninformed of Iraq Issues."   Democracy Now! Radio and TV News. (transcript) April 27, 2004, Retrieved April 28, 2004 from < http://www.democracyno w . o rg/article . p l ?sid=04/04/27/143520 3 >

  Nelson, Daniel N.,   "Defeat." CommonDreams

April 2, 2004, Retrieved April 27, 2004 from

< http://www.com m o n d reams. o r g / v iews 0 4/0402-13.htm >

"President Bush Meets with Alhurra Television on Wednesday". Interview (transcript)

Office of the Press Secretary Web site, May 5, 2004 Retrieved May 7, 2004 from

< http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040505-5.html >

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   May 6, 2004

   Cawthorne, Andrew.   "Western 'human shield' protesters head for Iraq."   Reuters,   January 25, 2003. Retrieved May 5 , 2004 from

< http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/world/5030731.htm >

  Karpova, Judith. Personal interview. May 6, 2004.

  Karpova, Judith. Personal interview. April 12, 2004.

  Karpova, Judith. Personal interview. May 6, 2004.

  Karpova, Judith. Ibid.

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   April 12, 2004

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   May 6, 2004

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   April 12, 2004

  Alward, Namaa. Ibid.

  Sanger,   David E., and Shanker, Thom, "Decision on Possible Attack on Iraqi Town Seems Near." New York Times , April 25, 2004, Retrieved April 27, 2004 from

< http://ww w .ny t imes.com/2004/04/25/politics/25IRAQ.html?ex=1083864362&ei=1&en=3db8c7c2add6bd8d >

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   April 12, 2004

Weisman, Steven R., " White House Says Iraq Sovereignty Could Be Limited"

New York Times April 23, 2004, Retrieved April 25, 2004 from

< http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/ 2 3/politics/23DIPL.html >

  Karpova, Judith, "re: friend of Namaa" E-mail to Kristin Norderval, April 12, 2004

  Sanger,   David E., and Shanker, Thom, "Decision on Possible Attack on Iraqi Town Seems Near." New York Times , April 25, 2004, Retrieved April 27, 2004 from

< http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/25/politics/25IRAQ.html?ex=1083864362&ei=1&en=3db8c7c2add6bd8d >

  Borger, Julian. "Jailed Iraqis hidden from Red Cross, Says US Army." The Guardian May 5, 2004 Retrieved May 5, 2004 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4916603-103550,00.html

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview. May 6, 2004

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview. September, 2003

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview. May 6, 2004

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview.   April 12, 2004

  Karpova, Judith. Personal interview. April 12, 2004.

  "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell With La Prensa Grafica's Alex Aillón"   (Press Release) Embassy of the United States, San Salvador, El Salvador   April 23, 2004, Retrieved April 28, 2004 from < http://sansalvador.usembassy.gov/n e wsite/news/2004/04/042304.html >

  Weissman, Steve, "Pottery Barn Blow Out: Why Should the UN Buy the Iraq We Broke?" t r u t h o u t | Perspective April 28, 2004,   Retrieved April 28, 2004 from

< http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/042804A.shtml >

  Alward, Namaa. Personal interview. May 6, 2004

  Karpova, Judith, "re: friend of Namaa" E-mail to Kristin Norderval, April 12, 2004