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While FOX News Obsesses About the MoveOn.org Ad and O. J.'s Arrest, Here Is What Was Taking Place in the Iraq War

Reported by Marie Therese - September 23, 2007 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY BILL CORCORAN

This past week FOX News obsessed about the MoveOn.org ad and covered O.J. Simpson's latest dust-up with the law, but there was much more going on which impacted the 172,000 troops we have stationed in Iraq. In my opinion, FOX News used both stories to avoid reporting what was going on in that war-torn country.

U.S. troops in Iraq found out that they will not be getting a year off between deployments (see first story below) because Republicans in the Senate voted down a measure that Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) had proposed which would have insured all soldiers are given a year off between deployments to Iraq.

That was just one example of what was taking place in Iraq last week.

There were other events tied to the war in Iraq that went virtually unnoticed - stories that were relegated to the back burner or just not covered in the MoveOn-O.J. media blitz:

1) Seven U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq
2) Three-fourths of all Iraqis claim the "surge" is not working
3) Over 9 BILLION dollars of U.S. taxpayer money is missing in Iraq
4) There has been an uptick in the number of soldiers suffering from brain problems due to the war in Iraq
5) A new poll indicates one million Iraqis have died since the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq
6) The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) projects the U.S. will be in Iraq for decades at a cost in the trillions of dollars.

For additional coverage of each story mentioned above, continue reading.....

Longer Leaves for Troops Blocked - Senate Bill Short of 60 Votes Needed
The Washington Post

Senate Republicans yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to lengthen the home leaves of U.S. troops fighting in Afghghanistan and Iraq, derailing a measure that war opponents viewed as one of the best chances to force President Bush to accelerate a redeployment of forces. The proposal, sponsored by Sens. James Webb (D-Va.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), failed on a 56 to 44 vote, with 60 votes needed for passage -- a tally that was virtually identical to a previous vote in July. A last-minute campaign by the Defense Department and the White House to kill the measure won over Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), an influential voice on defense policy who had voted with Webb and Hagel in July.

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7 soldiers killed in Iraq
Army Times

BAGHDAD — A soldier was killed in an attack in southern Baghdad, the military said Wednesday. The Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldier was killed by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations Tuesday in a southern section of the Iraqi capital, according to a brief military statement. The operations are part of U.S. and Iraqi push "to deny and disrupt al-Qaida terrorist cells using this area as a support zone," the statement said. The statement comes a day after the military announced the deaths of four other soldiers in Iraq. Three were killed Tuesday following an explosion near their patrol northeast in Diyala province. Another Task Force Lightning soldier died Tuesday in a vehicle accident in the northern Nineveh province, the military said separately, adding that the incident was under investigation.

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Three-Fourths of Iraqis Say "Surge" Is Not Working
ABC News

Barely a quarter of Iraqis say their security has improved in the past six months, a negative assessment of the surge in U.S. forces that reflects worsening public attitudes across a range of measures, even as authorities report some progress curtailing violence. Apart from a few scattered gains, a new national survey by ABC News, the BBC and the Japanese broadcaster NHK finds deepening dissatisfaction with conditions in Iraq, lower ratings for the national government and growing rejection of the U.S. role there.

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Billions over Baghdad
Vanity Fair

Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed. Following a trail that leads from a safe in one of Saddam's palaces to a house near San Diego, to a P.O. box in the Bahamas, the authors discover just how little anyone cared about how the money was handled.

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Brain Damage Plagues Thousands of GIs
AOL.com News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 9) - The war in Iraq is not over, but one legacy is already here in this city and others across America: a "silent epidemic" of brain-damaged soldiers.

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Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M
Los Angeles Times (Registration required.)

BAGHDAD — -- A car bomb blew up in the capital's Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Sadr City on Thursday, killing at least four people, as a new survey suggested that the civilian death toll from the war could be more than 1 million. The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful. The military has said civilian deaths from sectarian violence have fallen more than 55% since President Bush sent an additional 28,500 troops to Iraq this year, but it does not provide specific numbers.

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CBO: Bush Plans For Iraq Will Cost Trillions
TPM Muckraker

A new Congressional study finds that President Bush's plans for the U.S. in Iraq over the next several decades will reach the trillions of dollars, on top of the approximately $567 billion the war has already cost. That accounting assumes a significant troop draw-down -- and still tallies a daunting expense for the United States. The study, conducted by the Congressional Budget Office, decided to follow the Korea model to calculate its expense. Since it's unclear for how long or under what conditions combat operations will ensue, the CBO projects both a combat and a non-combat presence. Both, however, are projected to require 55,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The combat scenario entails one-time costs of $4 to $8 billion, with annual expenses of $25 billion, projected outward. Under the non-combat scenario, a $8 billion one-time cost -- mainly for the construction of additional "enduring" bases -- would be followed by annual costs of $10 billion or less.

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CLOSING COMMENTARY

The United States has 172,000 young men and women serving in the military in Iraq. For FOX News Channel to engage in media overkill of the O.J. robery and fake outrage because MoveOn exercised its constitutional right of free speech is a slap in the face of every brave young American serving our country.

In an interesting side note, Eli Pariser of MoveOn emailed its 3.2 million members to say that, since the Senate vote, MoveOn.org has received $500,000 in donations, increased its membership and gotten many approving emails from soldiers and their families.

Therefore, I'd like to end by quoting from a MoveOn.org email to members dated September 21, 2007.

All day, messages from vets and military family members kept pouring into our email, many of them aimed at the Senate:

Yesterday, an amazing thing happened. After the Senate's shameful vote, and after President Bush called MoveOn "disgusting,"1 our email started to fill up with messages like this one:

I'm currently in Iraq. I do not agree with this war, and if I did support this war, it would not matter. You have the RIGHT to speak the truth. We KNOW that you support us. Thank you for speaking out for being our voice. We do not have a voice. We are overshooted by those who say that we soldiers do not support organizations like MoveOn. WE DO.

YOU ARE OUR voice.

And then came the donations. By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than we've raised any day this year—for our new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.

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I have given a son to this country. My brother, my father, my uncle have all served honorably and bravely. I am a loyal American. I am outraged and sick to death of the tactics this administration uses to try to silence dissent to a war that is unjust, built and maintained on lies, political power, and greed. I was content to let others fight more loudly, but no more. –Sharyn W., NC

I am a prior soldier who served in Iraq for 13 months, and am now an expecting mom with a husband who is deployed in Baghdad. I don't think I can ever forgive the Bush administration for the lies that tricked America into this war and hurt my family so badly. I am ashamed of those American politicians who would condemn an organization for practicing the Freedom of Speech that so many soldiers have died for.
–Danielle B., OH

As a US Navy veteran and an Iraq war veteran of over a year I want to ask, What has happened to us? What has happened to our voice? Where is this country going with stopping free speech and free press? ... Every time I think of the long nights I had in Anbar remembering what I was fighting for, well here it is....
–Ahmad H., LA

These folks have made sacrifices many of us can't imagine. Their charge to us was clear: keep speaking the truth about how President Bush and the Republicans have betrayed our trust.