Friday, November 04, 2005

Today In Iraq there is a holiday that celebrates the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, and the start of the Eid al-Fitr. This is a big holiday in Iraq, probably as big as the Christmas season is in the western world. Today In Iraq, there are hundreds of families trying to celebrate Eid after having buried a loved one, killed by violence, in just the last few days. Today In Iraq, there are thousands of families who are trying to celebrate Eid without a family member, killed by violence, who was with them last Eid. Today In Iraq, there are tens of thousands of families, or maybe hundreds of thousands of families, who are trying to celebrate Eid without loved ones who were with them just a few short years ago. They too have been killed in the violence unleashed by this war. I would like to wish them all solace in their grief, peace in the upcoming year, and a happy and prosperous future. I want them to know that we are paying attention, as we work to record on this blog what has happened Today In Iraq, as we all hope and pray that peace will return to Iraq in time for the next Eid. Holiday Brings Rare Celebrations to Iraq. Three-Day Holiday Marking End of Ramadan Begins, Bringing Signs of Celebration to Iraqi Cities WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Al Qaida Claims Downing of US Helicopter. Two Iraqi policemen killed in drive-by shooting in Baghdad. Bodies of 12 men who had been kidnapped were found, dead, in a sewage station. Also, Maj. Gen. Lynch declined to talk in detail about increased sophistication of roadside bombs, including the use of infrared triggers. British officials say they have seen the use of infrared triggers in attacks against their own forces and suspect the technology has been supplied by Iran, a charge the Iranians have denied. Bring ‘em on FLASHBACK: Revealed: IRA Bombs Killed Eight British Soldiers in Iraq (This is a story from last month, but in light of Maj. Gen. Lynch’s declining to talk about infrared triggers setting off bombs in Iraq, I thought we should review where those infrared triggers came from anyway.) From that article: According to investigators examining past collusion between the security forces and paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, members of the shadowy army undercover outfit, the Force Research Unit, and officers from MI5 learned in the early 1990s that a senior IRA member in south Armagh was working to develop bombs triggered by light beams. "The thinking of the security forces was that if they were intimate with the technology, then they could develop counter-measures, thereby staying one step ahead of the IRA," a senior source close to the inquiry explained. "It may seem absurd that the security services were supplying technology to the IRA, but the strategy was sound.” (Ummm, no, no, it wasn’t.) Bring ‘em on: Veteran Soldiers, Police Recruited for Iraq by US Contractors. This story is from Peru. The growth of Triple Canopy reflects the boom currently enjoyed by "private armies" and the outsourcing of war. Triple Canopy has also hired former soldiers and police officers in El Salvador, Colombia and Chile, although they are paid more than the wages promised the Peruvians. Bring ‘em on: One civilian killed, nine wounded in explosion in Kirkuk. Attack was aimed at US military. Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqi Police Killed in Attack on Checkpoint North of Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Mortar round misses American base at abu Ghraib, but hits a village home and kills a child. Suspected insurgents shot and killed Tarijk Hasan, a former colonel in the Iraqi Air Force, as he drove into Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: US Escalates Effort to Counter Iraqi Rebel Bombs - "It's the only tool the enemy really has left in order to be able to take us on and cause casualties," Conway said of the IEDs. "And when we defeat that one method, it's over." (Or you could bring them home, which will also solve the problem.) Bring ‘em on: Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Thursday, 3 November 2005 Bring ‘em on: US Army Adapts to “war of the flea” in Iraq Bring ‘em on: Some Major Attacks in Iraq Shiite Areas (partial listing going back to 2003 – note how most of them happened in 2005) Bring ‘em on: Former US Marine writes book about his mission to recruit for, then fight in, the war in Iraq. This article is translated from a French newspaper. Bring ‘em on: Three killed in accident with US tank that was on patrol. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents killed 11 Iraqi security forces. (This includes the six Iraqi security forces killed in Buhriz.) In the town of Tuz Khormato, north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed five police commandos that worked with Iraq’s Interior Ministry. Bring ‘em on: US Soldier Killed by IED in the vicinity of Baqubah Bring ‘em on: US Soldier from supply unit died of non-battle related causes near Tallil. Former Baath party official killed by gunman in Kerbala. Roadside bomb in Dora killed three people. US forces killed three gunmen in Sammarra. Five Iraqi forces killed by roadside bomb in Taza. Bring ‘em on: One civilian killed, along with two insurgents, when car bomb exploded prematurely in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Even with nearly 1,000 men to guard the road, Slack says it’s hard to catch insurgents who set off roadside bombs and conduct ambushes and suicide attacks because they blend in with the Iraqi population. (This will be on 60 Minutes on 11/6/05. They are talking about the Airport Road in Baghdad.) Bring ‘em on: Pentagon to keep troop levels in Iraq (about 160,000 US troops) through December 15, 2006. (And beyond, I suspect.) Bring ‘em on: Status Report on the Iraqi Insurgency Bring ‘em on: US Troops Shoot to Kill Shadows on Syria-Iraq Border. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi group ‘to kill Moroccans’ - The al Qaeda in Iraq militant group has reportedly said that it will kill two Moroccan embassy employees it kidnapped last month. REPORTS THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Wrongful Incarceration Not Unusual in Iraq. “We call it collective terror," he said. "Every Iraqi now fears that he may be next. And those who have been arrested once, how can they live a normal, smooth life, without the dread of being a victim again?" THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: On the Trail of Stolen Iraqi Art. More than two years after the museum, home to the remains of mankind's most ancient cities, was pillaged by an army of looters, thousands of the stolen objects have yet to be recovered. And it appears that civilian and military experts may never agree on exactly what happened at one of the world's most prized museums or on who should have protected these treasures. THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Destruction of Beloved Baghdad Statue Emblematic of Violence’s Toll. The bronze bust of Jaafar al Mansour, who founded Baghdad in the eighth century, stood in the center of a traffic circle in northwestern Baghdad and was used by nearly everyone as a reference point: "near the statue," "a kilometer past the statue." It was a symbol of the city, without politics or sectarianism. Until Oct. 19, when terrorists reduced it to rubble with a roadside bomb of the same sort used to kill U.S. and Iraqi forces. With it went another bit of whatever sense of well-being that Iraqis still had. THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: The Very Presence of US Troops Fuels the Insurgency THE SHAME OF AMERICA: CIA Operating Secret al-Qaeda Prison. The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long. THE SHAME OF AMERICA: US Files Report with UN Over Terror Suspects - The report, which follows an earlier one submitted in May, did not refer to any of the secret prisons revealed in a Washington Post report on Wednesday. The newspaper said the CIA had been hiding and interrogating inmates at "black sites" in eight countries under a global network set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Bush administration has refused to confirm whether the report on the secret prison system is true, but State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the issue of how to deal with detainees was a difficult one. THE SHAME OF AMERICA: PHOTO HERE, HERE AND HERE INSIDE IRAQ: The Dogs of War. An Iraqi blogger talks about calling officers of the former Iraqi army to join the new Iraqi rabble. INSIDE IRAQ: Rumbles of Radicalism in Kurdistan. Al Qaeda’s presence stunned Iraq’s moderate north. It was a surprise to many Kurds that small Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sunna cells were among six groups of extremists arrested in Arbil this summer - and that nearly all the militants were home-grown Kurds. INSIDE IRAQ: The question, as Mr Barzani suggested, was one of the more obvious to put to him. But when you give an address on the Kurdish role in a federal and pluralistic Iraq and the sole flag behind you is not Iraqi but the distinctive Kurdish red, white, green and gold, it is only reasonable for people to ask why. INSIDE IRAQ: Reports of Sunni Enthusiasm May Be Premature. The George W. Bush administration is citing the formation of a coalition of Sunni political organisations to run candidates in Iraq's December parliamentary elections, and high Sunni turnout in the recent referendum, as evidence that its policy of attracting Sunnis away from the insurgency is working. INSIDE IRAQ: Saddam’s Palace a Tourist Centre INSIDE IRAQ: Iraq’s Maysan Province Mixes Peace and War. The shorthand understanding of the situation across Iraq goes like this: Kurdistan in the north is stable and friendly after a decade of Western protection and patronage; the Sunni Triangle in the center of the country is violent and riddled with particularly committed foreign fighters and terrorists; and Shi'ite southern Iraq, grateful for the ouster of Saddam Hussein, is peaceful and calm. Not so in insular Maysan, a 22,400-square-kilometer southeastern Shi'ite province that borders Iran. It sports homegrown Shi'ite insurgents and always has, according to British officers. In fact, the people here maintain it was they who ousted Hussein's forces, not the U.S invasion. OUTSIDE IRAQ: Tariq Aziz Pulls Plug on Senate’s Galloway Smears OUTSIDE IRAQ: UK Soldiers’ Murder Trial Collapses - The soldiers, all members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, have been found not guilty of murder and violent disorder. The soldiers were standing trial accused of murdering 18-year-old Nadhem Abdullah in an attack on a group of Iraqi civilians in al-Ferkah, 60 miles north of Basra, in May 2003. See article below. OUTSIDE IRAQ: Iraqi Witnesses Lied to Court in Return for “Blood Money” THE WAR AT HOME: The Other Liars THE WAR AT HOME: La Repubblica supplies a few more pieces to the puzzle, informing us that the Niger uranium forgeries - which sent Joe Wilson to Niger in the first place - were brought to the Rome meeting, apparently by Chalabi, who passed off the documents to the American delegation. THE WAR AT HOME: Iraq Vet Works Against War. Dougherty was stationed near Nazaria in southern Iraq for 10 months with the Colorado National Guard's 220th Military Police Co. She saw action but never fired her weapon. Dougherty said the thousands of innocent civilians who have been killed and the broken American promises about repairing water, electricity and sewage systems convinced her the troops should come home. THE WAR AT HOME: Maupins Upset With The Army. The parents of the only American soldier listed as missing-captured said they've "had enough" of the Army's breakdown in alerting them to developments in the search for their son, Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin. "Twice now they've dropped the ball where we've learned about something happening with our son from other sources, like the media," said Carolyn Maupin, mother of the Army reservist, missing since his April 2004 capture by Iraqi insurgents just outside Baghdad. The Dayton Daily News was the first of several media outlets to tell the Maupins on Monday about a search for their son in a brush area west of Baghdad, based on a tip the Army received. THE WAR AT HOME: Another story about the Maupins here. They are going to visit the Pentagon. THE WAR AT HOME: Experts Say US is Losing War on Terror. "We have had some very important successes getting individual terrorists. But I think the broader story is really quite awful. We have done a lot to fuel the fires, and we have done a lot to encourage people to hate us." COMMENTARY OPINION: Congress Must Investigate Lies, Leaks OPINION: Clueless About Torture - Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was tortured repeatedly during his 5½ years of solitary confinement in North Vietnam, answers NO: The tortured will say anything to stop the pain. OPINION: It’s Clinton’s Fault OPINION: A Silver Lining in Iraq - But the Saddam Hussein regime was murderous as well; and at least today, the Iraqis have grounds to hope for a better future. OPINON: Letter to the Editor in NY - The price we all pay in human sacrifice (and in monstrous deficits) ultimately grows from our lack of investment in understanding how to allay poverty and to choke off greed in general, and especially in the Middle East. Our need to develop a more worldly view is really glaring in this case. OPINION: Letter to the Editor in NY - The majority in our Congress is stating that perjury is a minor thing and officials should only be indicted for "serious" crimes. The senator from Texas was adamant concerning this, but she has reversed herself from seven years ago when she voted to impeach President Clinton for perjury because "justice had to be protected." Clinton had not sent our troops into a war for dubious reasons. He had not spent billions of tax dollars on a wasteful war and, finally, he had not gotten more than 2,000 of our troops killed in a dubious war. Where are our members of Congress when impeachment needs to be started? The silence is immense and all-pervading. Amazing how "justice" for one is not the same for someone from your own party. OPINION: Carter Says White House Misled US on Iraq OPINION: Being Lied Into War - In the final analysis, it was the Bush Administration's actions in response to Joseph Wilson's Op-Ed in the New York Times that gave them away. People in search of the truth don't do what Rove and Libby did. If good intelligence comes in that proves what you thought was a threat really isn't, you feel relieved. But if you've deliberately told the American people a lie to get permission to wage an illegal war, and some former ambassador reveals a major part of your lies was a lie, you see him as a threat and someone to discredit. Now you know the truth. OPINION: Viewpoint: US Shows Double Standards and Lack of Respect for NGOs. The US needs to learn respect for international humanitarian law and human rights in dealing with aid agencies. OPINION: Mr. “Bring ‘em on” OPINION: Civil War is a US Option in Iraq. The U.S. has become a principal player in the “match of terror” going on in the country. The U.S. is now in fact feeding violence in Iraq by using the country’s disparate sectarian, ethnic and religious factions in a way that will eventually help it realize some of its aims of coming to Iraq. The U.S. is now sowing seeds of strife and civil war. It wants Iraqi factions to do the fighting instead of its troops. OPINION: Basra Authorities Move Against Meddling by Iran, More Iranian Infiltrators Arrested PEACE ACTION: End State-Sponsored Torture PEACE ACTION: Department of Peace: We can Make it Happen! CASUALTY REPORTS Local Story: Funeral Service Held for Rowan County (NC) Marine Local Story: Another Vermont Soldier Dies in Iraq Local Story: Marine from Georgia Killed in Iraq Local Story: Community Grieves Over Pensacola-area’s First Iraq Death Local Story: Edmond (Oklahoma) Soldier Killed in Iraq Local Story: Ballinger (Texas) Soldier Dies In Iraq "He wasn't just another face in the crowd," Byler's longtime friend, Matt Fulton, said in a story for Wednesday's San Angelo Standard-Times. "He always had a smile on his face. He was very outgoing and a real good guy.” Local Story: Southwest Ohio Soldier Killed in Iraq Local Story: Women Says Son Killed in Iraq While Trying To Become US Citizen Local Story: Mississippi Family Loses Home to Katrina, Son to Iraq Local Story: Vermont National Guard Soldier Killed in Iraq Local Story: Marine from Georgia Killed in Iraq Local Story: Fairfax Marine Dies in Iraq Chopper Crash Local Story: New Salem Soldier Killed in Iraq "May they find comfort and peace in the compassion of their friends and loved ones, and the heartfelt sympathy of all North Dakotans," the governor said. QUOTE OF THE DAY: Peace….. is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. – Dorothy Thompson


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?