Sunday, April 03, 2005
War News for Sunday, April 03, 2005
Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqis injured in car bomb attack in
Bring ‘em on: “Huge” explosion reported in the vicinity of
Bring ‘em on: Update - current casualty report for the attack on Abu Ghraib prison first posted yesterday is now 44 US injured, some seriously, and 13 prisoners injured. Other reports state that one attacker was killed.
Iraqi Freedom Guard: During its short life, the Iraq Freedom Guard of maybe 100 fighters had a distinguished record in Anbar province.
But on an afternoon last month, the Freedom Guard's fall from grace led to the deaths of two unit soldiers and more questions about how reliable an ally
Just hours before
Local militias: The rumors spread quickly last month around the central
It fell to Khudair, the eldest son of a family from the Sunni branch, to meet with local Shiites and explain that his 26-year-old nephew had said no such thing.
A day later Khudair's family received a note insulting them as Sunni Muslims, calling them sons of whores. On March 27, Khudair was kidnapped.
What came next has become typical for
"If something happened to my brother, no Shiite would be safe," said Khudair's brother, Sameer, who's convinced that Shiite militia members are behind the kidnapping.
The political instability in
About 100 of those prisoners are under age 18, said Army Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill, a spokesman for detention operations in
A human rights group was issuing a report Wednesday saying the rising number of detainees increases the risk that the prisoners will be mistreated.
"We're seriously concerned about overburdening of what the Pentagon has called transient facilities, the field prisons," Human Rights First lawyer Deborah Pearlstein said Tuesday. "These are places where conditions are terrible, where the worst abuses occurred from 2002 to 2004, and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) access is limited to nonexistent."
Forward operating bases: The war in Iraq is the first American conflict in which a GI on patrol can risk evisceration from artillery shells rigged to a cell phone, then return to base in time for ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” a T-bone steak, a mocha cappuccino, a gym workout, an Internet surf session, a hot shower and a cold, if nonalcoholic, beer.
Jawad al-Maliki, a prominent member of the powerful Shiite United Iraqi Bloc in the provisional parliament, said the blocs agreed to name Hajem al-Hosni, the interim industry minister, as speaker of the 275-seat National Assembly.
Hosni, a member of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's bloc, is a former member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, which withdrew from the interim government to protest
A Government of Men or a Government of Law?
The ACLU says the documents reveal that the abuse of prisoners in
"We think that the techniques authorised by Gen Sanchez were certainly responsible for putting into play the sort of abuses that we saw at Abu Ghraib," Amirit Singh, an ACLU lawyer, told The Independent on Sunday. "And it does not just stop with Sanchez. It goes to [Defence Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld, who wrote memos authorising these sorts of techniques at
Law: Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Article 2:
In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
Men: A decorated Army captain convicted in the shooting death of a wounded Iraqi was dismissed from the military Friday but will serve no time in prison after insisting at his court-martial that the shooting was intended as a mercy killing.
A relieved Capt. Rogelio ''Roger'' Maynulet, 30, of
Maynulet could have faced 10 years in prison after being convicted Thursday of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter.
Law: UN Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Article 12:
Members of the armed forces and other persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.
They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not willfully be left without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing them to contagion or infection be created.
Men: Previously secret court testimony indicates an Iraqi general imprisoned by
References to the alleged beating appear in a transcript, released under court order, from a military preliminary hearing for three soldiers charged with murder and dereliction of duty in the death of Maj. Gen. Abed Mowhoush on Nov. 26, 2003. A fourth soldier faces the same charges but waived a hearing.
During the interrogation, Army prosecutors claim Mowhoush was put headfirst into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord and knocked down before the soldiers sat and stood on him, prosecutors said. The cause of death was determined to be suffocation.
The defendants have all denied wrongdoing, saying commanders had sanctioned their actions.
Law: Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Article 3, Section 1:
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
Air Force Lt. Col. John Skinner, a Pentagon spokesman, said the man, deemed an enemy combatant, had personal ties to Zarqawi and was believed to have served as his personal emissary in several Iraqi cities. The man has not been allowed to have a lawyer, Skinner said.
"I think it's extremely high on the outrageous scale. This is a direct violation of a Supreme Court decision," said lawyer Rachel Meeropol of the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights.
The justices ruled last June that the government cannot hold an American citizen indefinitely in a
The WMD Whitewash Report
Routinely dismissed: Of all the claims U.S. intelligence made about Iraq's arsenal in the fall and winter of 2002, it was a handful of new charges that seemed the most significant: secret purchases of uranium from Africa, biological weapons being made in mobile laboratories, and pilotless planes that could disperse anthrax or sarin gas into the air above U.S. cities.
By the time President Bush ordered
The work of the inspectors -- who had extraordinary access during their three months in
Absurd: It is absurd to have yet another investigation into the chuckleheaded assessments on Saddam's phantom W.M.D. that intentionally skirts how the $40 billion-a-year intelligence was molded and manufactured to fit the ideological schemes of those running the White House and Pentagon.
As the commission's co-chairman, Laurence Silberman, put it: "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policy makers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry."
Huh? That's like an investigation into steroids in baseball that looks only at the drug companies, not the players who muscled up.
No official inquiry: So two years after Bush launched the invasion of
The right conclusions: The latest commission looking into intelligence failures on
Think again. The recent reassertion of administration policy on preemptive war in the "National Defense Strategy" just promulgated by Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, together with his well-known insistence that "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" suggest that Iran may well be the next target – intelligence or no. The more so, since many of the malleable analysts who, according to the commission, were "dead wrong" about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" are now putting the finishing touches to a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran.
I find myself wondering if it is also the case that Vice President Dick Cheney has resumed his frequent visits to CIA headquarters – this time to help the analysts come to the right conclusions on
He’ll Look You In The Eye And Lie Through His Teeth
Rumsfeld: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he did not criticise
March 20, 2005: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sunday used the second anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq to answer the most tenacious criticism of the war effort - that the Pentagon did not commit sufficient troops to the major offensive or to stability efforts after Baghdad fell.
The fault, Rumsfeld contended in two television talk-show appearances, rests with
"Given the level of the insurgency today, two years later, clearly, if we had been able to get the 4th Infantry Division in from the north through
Had that happened, "the insurgency today would be less," Rumsfeld said.
With the 4th Infantry blocked from entering from the north, "by the time Baghdad was taken, the large fraction of the Iraqi military and intelligence services just dissipated into the communities," Rumsfeld said. "And they're still, in a number of instances, still active."
PTSD: Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, now coming home after a seven-month deployment in Iraq, are being given health exams to detect early signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, among them, memory loss, intolerance, anger, sleep problems and "hyper-vigilance." Every Marine and sailor is also required to see the chaplain. The meetings can take five minutes, an hour or more, depending on how much the person wants to say, said Navy Cmdr. Bill Devine, head chaplain of the 1st Marine Division, who was with Marines during fighting in Fallouja and Ramadi.
A Department of Veterans Affairs study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine found 17% of 3,671 soldiers and Marines who saw combat in
Radicalization: Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the thousands of militants from around the world who flocked to Al Qaeda camps in
Charity: One of the children, 12-year-old Rakan Hassan, was shot in the stomach, the bullet exiting through his spine, damaging vertebrae. Doctors have told him that only medical care outside
Media critics: Some of the media's toughest critics on
Few journalists, he says, seek new leads or launch investigative stories from inside
Your Best Bet - Hire A Vet
But don't fire him for serving his country: A federal judge Friday awarded a military veteran nearly $500,000 for having been fired illegally from his civilian job shortly after returning from two tours of combat duty in Iraq.
Marine Reserve Lt. Col. Steve Duarte was fired by Agilent Technologies, where he had worked for more than 19 years, in November 2003 - just four months after completing his second combat tour.
"I'm thrilled by the ruling," Duarte said. "I just hope that the people of Agilent think of me every time they see the American flag.
"I have a tinge of anger, but this is much bigger than me. This is about all the younger vets coming back who can't afford to fight their employers."
Editorial: A new generation of American war veterans is being born of the combat in
The original GI Bill, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in June 1944, provided educational benefits to 8 million veterans. It also provided low-cost guaranteed loans for veterans to buy homes or farms, as well as medical assistance after they were discharged. Similar benefits were provided to veterans of the Korean War. In 1966 a new GI Bill was passed providing the same benefits for veterans of the Vietnam War.
In the peacetime year of 1984, with an all-volunteer military emerging from the shadow of
It is that program that now applies to
Opinion: The US-British occupation of
Only when the occupiers withdraw from the country can
Comment: Given the realities of the war in Iraq -- shock and awe, death and destruction, a continuing guerrilla insurgency -- it is easy to overlook what in Hollywood is called "the back story," what our government also brought to Iraq when it invaded: We're not just bringing "democracy" to Iraq, we are bringing, without objection, unchecked free-market ideology.
When Paul Bremer, fresh from Kissinger Associates, first arrived in
Wars might be hell, but they have their up side for business. Bechtel and Halliburton might be impeded in the way they do business here in the States, but in
Americans are concerned with the suffering of their soldier children, dead and injured and in peril. It is hard to get exercised over spending tax money for other purposes, beyond that of the tardily produced body and Hummer armor -- all the equipment and infrastructure large armies require. The last thing on most minds is the fact that the Bush administration has attempted, however ineptly, to remake
Local story: Soldier killed in Ramadi laid to rest in
Local story: Illinois-born soldier killed in