A DELEGATION of nine relatives of US soldiers has gone to Iraq to find out what is going on for themselves.
'We haven't been getting the full story in the US,' said Michael Lopercio, the 54 year old father of a US soldier. 'The media is covering events-shootings and bombings-but not the issues. They are not covering what is really happening to Iraqi people and to the Iraqi infrastructure.'
Michael says right wing radio talk shows laid into his wife, who is a social worker, after she gave interviews about his visit to Iraq.
Billy Kelly, another member of the group, is a retired barman from New York who fought in the Vietnam War. He said, 'There's not a day goes by when I don't think about what happened there 35 years ago.' He suspects that Iraq has a lot of similarities with Vietnam.
Fernando Suarez del Solar knows his son was killed by a US cluster bomb. He has become an outspoken critic of Bush's war and demands the immediate withdrawal of US troops.
US gunfight fans the flames
ONE WEEK after the US fought a pitched battle in the Iraqi town of Samarra, in which it claimed it killed 54 guerrillas, hostility to the US is unabated.
One of the high ranking police officers at Samarra's headquarters has claimed that everyone in Samarra is now opposed to the US occupation. At the only remaining US military compound in the city US soldiers refused to leave their bunkers last Sunday, saying, 'It's dangerous here! Go away!'
The US-paid Iraqi Civil Defence Corps won't go near the city after one of them was shot dead by mourners on a funeral procession for a victim of the US shoot-out.
Bush crony wins $1 billion jackpot
GUESS WHO'S been handed $1 billion worth of reconstruction work in Iraq by the US government?
Halliburton, the engineering firm, which used to be run by US vice-president Dick Cheney, is in the money because of delays in opening up a key contract to competition.
'Since August when the follow-on contracts were supposed to be awarded, the administration has obligated more than $1 billion to Halliburton under the oil infrastructure contract,' said US Democrat congressman Henry Waxman. 'These inexplicable delays may be good for Halliburton-they are costing the taxpayers a bundle.'