Saturday, November 05, 2005


Bring ‘em on: Al Qaim October Massacre: Indiscriminate Killing Zone. There is no doctor or clinic in an area of 110 kilometers along the river. The injured families have to be brought by boats, bleed to death, or die under the rubbles. It is impossible to count the dead, their families bury them on the spot, without any document, and of course no media coverage. Civilians, relatives and neighbors help evacuating those buried under the rubbles. Snipers are still hurting us most. On the Referendum day Oct 15, no one would dare to go out.

In the emergency ward, a girl of ten was lying on one trolley, and a young woman on another. They were still conscious. The girl, Yosr Jasim Mohammad Al-Ta’i, 10, (going to 5th grade, as she said proudly), was injured in her feet, back, and right ear, which were covered with blood. She did not know that she is the only survivor of a family of 8. Her father, her mother Ibtisam Thiyab Othman, and five of her brothers and sister were buried dead under the rubbles when the American airplanes bombed Al-Ish village at 2 am that day, Oct 26.2005. (Much, much more, and thanks to whisker for pointing out this article.)


Bring ‘em on: Three US Soldiers killed by IED near Baghdad on November 2, 2005

Bring ‘em on: US, Iraqi Forces Launch Offensive in Western Iraq. About 3,500 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers launched a major offensive on Saturday in western Iraq to track down insurgents and improve security before December 15 elections, the military said. "The objectives of Operation Steel Curtain are to restore security along the Iraqi-Syrian border and destroy the al Qaeda in Iraq terror network operating throughout Qusayba," the military said in a statement. (Once again, they are going to bomb some town or city to make it safe for voting. And then the population there does not vote.) Called “Operation Steel Curtain”

Bring ‘em on: IEDs Fewer But More Deadly in South Iraq. "The number of incidents is extremely low ... but the fatality rate is quite high, much higher than it was a year ago, because these breakaway Shia terrorist groups ... have found a piece of technology which is working particularly well at the moment," he said. (This article claims the technology and materials is coming from Iran.) Also: Several times a month in Basra and Az Zubayr Sunnis are arrested and later turn up dead, according to British military officials. And four weeks ago during a coalition operation, 23 Iraqis were arrested and remain in jail. "It turned out some of them were policemen," he said. His forces are holding five or six in detention, he said. (This article claims the “undercover” British soldiers who were arrested by Basra police in September were taken to a “safe house” of some militia. I have seen reports that refute that claim.)


Bring ‘em on: US Soldier dies from IED in east Baghdad on Friday.


Bring ‘em on: US Soldier dies from small arms fire in Baghdad on Friday.


Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqi Police Killed by Attack (Over a Dozen Others Also Killed North of Baghdad). Article states that the Iraqi police ran out of ammunition and police headquarters did not send backups when called. Battle lasted over an hour.

Bring ‘em on: US Marine died of wounds after vehicle hit a mine near Habbaniyah on Nov. 4

Bring ‘em on: US Soldier Died in Texas from week old injuries from IED attack in Iraq.

Bring ‘em on: Al Qaida in Iraq Threatens to Attack Foreign Diplomats

Bring ‘em on: Insurgents’ Ranks Quickly Replenished, Expert Says. During the last week of October there were 569 attacks on coalition troops, including 136 that produced casualties, Lynch said Thursday. About 40 percent of those attacks were by insurgents using roadside bombs.


Bring ‘em on: Iraq Bomb Know-How Said to Come From Iran

Bring ‘em on: US Reports Sharp Rise in Iraq Roadside Bombings. There were 1,029 roadside bomb attacks in August and 1,044 in September. In the spring, the attacks numbered about 700 a month.


Bring ‘em on: Bomb exploded in southern Baghdad killing two children and an adult. Could not find a story on this, but links here and here are to photos of two children hurt in this incident.

Bring ‘em on: Cache Seized, Terrorists Killed Near Ramadi. A vehicle loaded with a cache of ordnance was discovered in the vicinity of the initial attack. Three Iraqi Army uniforms were among the items found.


Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqi troops killed by roadside bomb in Taza, south of Kirkuk. US forces killed three gunmen in Samarra. Roadside bomb in Dora kills three civilians.


Bring ‘em on: Guerrillas Target Police. Eleven Officers Killed in Iraq Including Six Shot by Attackers Who, Officials Say, Wore Women’s Robes, Veils. Baqouba.

Bring ‘em on: US Soldier dies in traffic accident in Talil in southern Iraq. Three more were injured.


Bring ‘em on: Insurgents killed a Palestinian working as a security guard in Beiji.


Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqi troops killed and four wounded by roadside bomb in Taza. US forces killed three gunmen in Samarra. Roadside bomb in Dora killed three people. Former Baath officials killed by gunmen in Kerbala.


Bring ‘em on: Al Qaeda Claims 14 Iraqi Soldiers Killed


Bring ‘em on: House destroyed and one civilian killed in Baqouba. Locals claim it was destroyed by US troops after a roadside bomb exploded near a US convoy.


INSIDE IRAQ: Interview (audio) with independent journalist, Brian Conley, who is in Baghdad. He talks about what life is like in Iraq today.


INSIDE IRAQ: Brian Conley has a blog, and here is a bit of what he wrote: In Baghdad the war centers around the failed reconstruction projects, the lack of security, and gunfire punctuating eerily quiet late-nights, watching the television, for some news or entertainment, not knowing when the power will be cut again. Lives on pause, children selling black-market gas on the side of the highway, rather than attending primary school; women, tending their babies and living off the kindness of other Iraqis, rather than teaching these children in their primary schools; men, driving aimlessly all day, hoping to make a few thousand Iraqi Dinars pretending to be taxis, taking the few Iraqis with places to go around the city. Each of these individuals knows that this could be his or her last day. A week in Baghdad has provided a great deal of insight. A week in Baghdad has also provided insight into my vast supply of ignorance about war, the Iraqi People, and the Resistance. Every Iraqi I have met is against the American Occupation, and supports the Iraqi Resistance. However, many of these people consider themselves members of the Resistance, but not by arms, rather by peaceful means, aid to their fellow Iraqis, producing news and media to provide some semblance of “truth” in a different perspective on the events unfolding in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq.


INSIDE IRAQ: What to call an army of 20,000? There are 20,000 "private security contractors" in Iraq: This is the number –and name – widely used to describe the legions outside the armed forces of the US and its allies, but doing work remarkably like the work military people do. But "20,000 mercenaries" is another phrase that pops up as well.


INSIDE IRAQ: Terrorists Killed In Husaybah Air Strike (in October 2005) Identified. Coalition Forces conducted a series of raids on suspected terrorist and foreign fighter safe houses to capture or kill terrorists operating in the town of Husaybah. During the raids, Coalition forces destroyed three safe houses with air strikes using precision guided munitions. One of the safe houses destroyed was the location of an apparent meeting between al Qaida in Iraq (AQIZ) terrorist leaders from the Husaybah and Al Qaim areas. Coalition Forces now confirm the deaths of five key al Qaida in Iraq (AQIZ) terrorist leaders who were killed in that meeting. (If they can identify these terrorists by name, how come they can never tell us how many civilians were killed from US bombing? I like how they say “coalition forces” did air strikes, like the Iraqis may have bombers or something.)


INSIDE IRAQ: Security Forces Face Abuse Claims. Members of the Iraqi security forces often fire randomly in the air in order to clear the roads for police and military patrols, risking civilian casualties. But the interior minister, Bayan Jabir Solagh, has insisted that anyone found guilty of doing so will be brought to justice, and called on locals to report such cases to the authorities. Interior ministry official Ahmed al-Wa'ili said they had received a number of complaints in this regard, but when the cases were investigated it emerged that the security forces had been responding to threats or actual attacks. As a result, he said, no action had been taken against personnel suspected of wrongdoing.


INSIDE IRAQ: Kurds Vote on the Constitution (Photos)


INSIDE IRAQ: Rebel Cleric On the Rise Again, This Time in Political Arena. Sadr's movement is powerful in Iraq," said Hazim Ali, a political analyst at Baghdad University's International Studies Center. "I would expect him to be able to bring in at least 2 million votes." Ten million Iraqis voted in the recent constitutional referendum. Ali said al-Sadr is capitalizing on his unbending rebel image to mobilize a substantial following. The result could put him in a commanding position to build a coalition to assemble the next government. (Scary picture of al Sadr in this article.)


INSIDE IRAQ: FLASHBACK: Sectarian Resentment Extend to Iraq’s Army - Asked if he worried about possible fighting between his men and the Sunnis at Umm al Qura, the brigade's command sergeant major, Hassan Kadhum, smiled. "Your country had to have a civil war," he said. "It will be the same here. Everything in this world has its price. In Iraq the price for peace will be blood." Kadhum thought the matter over for a few more moments. "There will be a day when we take that mosque and make it an army headquarters," Kadhum said. (I reposted this because it seems like an accurate article about conditions in Iraq. Also shows how violence begets violence, and the Cheney administration is not the only ones who think “war leads to peace.”)


INSIDE IRAQ: Iraq Elections Analysis – Religion to Keep Iraq’s Alliance on Top in Vote


INSIDE IRAQ: Easy Sailing Along Once-Perilous Road to Baghdad Airport (This story contradicts recent stories on this road, and contradicts Sunday’s 60 minutes report.)


INSIDE IRAQ: “Hotel Journalism” Not the Essence of What’s Happening in Iraq. Iraq is a war in which correspondents disappear into detention or die not because they are covering dangerous events and happen to be caught in a crossfire, but because they are often prime targets themselves – of guerillas and terrorists, of gangs, of for-profit kidnappers, or of the American military. As a result, the war (and the Iraq) we see in our newspapers, and especially on our television sets, is a distinctly constricted one, often hardly wider than the nearest giant American military base or Baghdad's well-fortified Green Zone. Perhaps reporters, bearded or not, slipping by as anonymously as possible or in heavily armed security convoys, embedded with American or even Iraqi troops, can make it to spots around Baghdad, or, on rare occasions, elsewhere in the country (as part of military operations), but even for the bravest Western journalists, this has to be a desperately limiting situation. Not surprisingly, whole areas of Iraq remain beyond our view much, if not all, of the time.


INSIDE IRAQ: General Calls Use of 152nd “Inexcusable”. Maj. Gen. John "Bill" Libby, freshly returned from visiting his Maine Army National Guard troops in Iraq, called it "inexcusable" that the 152nd Maintenance Company is being used primarily as a security force. "Three years in . . . it's inexcusable to have brought a maintenance company over there to do anything but maintenance," Libby said. "It's particularly galling to me when I strip myself of full-time mechanics and they get there and they're in a tower."


THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Iraq’s Lethal Traffic: Warning! Anarchy Ahead. Insurgents have killed politicians while they were stuck in traffic jams. Amal Maamlaji, a midlevel official, was shot to death last September while stuck in traffic in central Baghdad. In Dawra, at least, the violence has offered macabre new business opportunities. Sami Kadham, a 22-year-old tow truck driver, said he towed a car that had come under attack there earlier this week, reportedly by American forces. The car had burned with its driver sitting in the driver's seat, he said, and the body was still there when he hooked the car to his truck.


THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Iraq’s PM Uses Muslim Holiday to Urge Insurgency End. Also from that article: A member of Iraq's influential Committee of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Mahmud Mehdi al-Sumaidai, asked fellow Sunnis during Friday prayers to vote in December's general elections, breaking with the group's long-standing boycott of politics. That way "we can preserve Iraq, its mosques and its scholars, (prevent) one community from grabbing power at the expense of another and unite to tell the forces of occupation: 'Leave our country,'" he said in a sermon at the Um al-Qura mosque. It was not clear whether Sumaidai spoke for the committee, which has said it expects "nothing from the political process to solve the country's main problem, which is its occupation."


THE TRAGEDY OF IRAQ: Women and Children Suffer From Continued Fighting. Asma Ali Ibrahim wishes that she had died last month when a United States air strike on her village killed her two sons, aged seven and six, and her four-year-old daughter. "I now live without hope," said Ibrahim, a 35-year-old housewife from Abu Faraj village in the turbulent Anbar province. Sheyma Sadiq, a resident of the al-Tamim neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ramadi, says her eight-year-old daughter now suffers from incontinence problems because of a traumatic raid on the house by US forces 10 months ago.


OUTSIDE IRAQ: The Philosopher’s Stone (Published in The Moscow Times) He has been charged with four counts of "disobeying a lawful command." But Kendall-Smith, a decorated medical officer in the Royal Air Force, says that his study of the recently-emerged evidence about the lies, distortions and manipulations used to "justify" the invasion has convinced him that both the war and the occupation are "manifestly illegal." Thus any order arising from this criminal action is itself an "unlawful command," the Sunday Times reports. In fact, the RAF's own manual of law compels him to refuse such illegal orders, Kendall-Smith insists.


OUTSIDE IRAQ: US Should Repay Millions to Iraq, a UN Audit Finds Some of those contracts were paid for with American taxpayer money, but others were financed by Iraqi oil proceeds. Because the monitoring board was created to oversee those proceeds, its audits focus only on the work that was financed with Iraqi money. The board consists of representatives from the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Iraqi government. (Article says that the US misspent $208+ million, and there is also evidence of bribes and ghost payrolling.)


THE SHAME OF AMERICA: Cheney Asks CIA Exemption From Ban on Torture


THE SHAME OF AMERICA: STOP HIM: Ahmed Chalabi Planning to Speak at American Enterprise Institute


THE WAR AT HOME: Source of Forged Niger-Iraq Uranium Documents Identified. An Italian occasional spy named Rocco Martino was identified as the disseminator of the forged documents. They did not say that Marino was the forger. The revelation came on the day when the FBI confirmed that it had shut down its two-year investigation into the origin of the forged documents.


THE WAR AT HOME: FBI: Financial Gain Drove Uranium Forgery

THE WAR AT HOME: Pentagon Eyeing Cuts in Weapons Programs. Struggling to pay for a costly war in Iraq, the Pentagon is considering as much as $15 billion in cuts to aircraft, shipbuilding and other weapons purchases as it begins to craft a budget for next year.


THE WAR AT HOME: Chalabi Back to Court Washington’s Favor

GOOD NEWS: US Drops Plan for Nuclear Bunker Buster

GOOD NEWS: Marines Find Weapons Cache in Underground Bunker


GOOD NEWS: PA Soldier Helps Iraqi Girl to Get Heart Surgery


GOOD NEWS (Follow up to above): Iraqi Girl Recovering After Heart Surgery (After she is discharged from the hospital, she will stay with the PA soldier for a month.)



OUR PRICELESS MEDIA: Times Publisher: Others at Fault Besides Miller – When asked by a member of the audience whether he thought the Times' credibility had been hurt by what the questioner termed its failure to fire Miller, he responded, "No, I don't."


OUR PRICELESS MEDIA: After the Libby Indictment, the Press is Acquitting Itself – There’s now eagerness to blast the Bush administration for some aspects of false prewar propaganda, while the newspaper continues to dodge its own crucial role in promoting that propaganda.



OPINION: Kissinger Warns Against Early Retreat From Iraq. Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned Friday against the "catastrophic consequences of a debacle" in Iraq and any rushed withdrawal of US forces. He stated: “Disagreement cannot become its own end.” (So why does he continue to promote war? This article also shows how he believes in “pre-emptive strikes” with certain conditions.)


OPINION: Why The US Will Lose. The Iraqis as a society are opposing the United States' strategy of dividing Iraq through the so-called political process and draft constitution. Beside controlling and plundering the natural resources of Iraq, the United States' plan consisted in abolishing the concept of citizenship -- the basis of any modern state. It annulled sovereignty, destroyed heritage and memory, and took over Iraqi wealth in an attempt to divide the country and destroy its Arab and Islamic geopolitical and civilisation-based affiliations.


OPINION: Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton, and Iraq. Unlike Rosa Parks, Hillary is not taking a courageous stand on principle. She is engaging in a narrow, opportunistic calculus of political advantage. I believe a Democrat with guts to oppose this war can win in 2008. But Hillary is under the sway of the same hypnotic triangulators who trained her husband. These are the ideologues of the immoral middle.


OPINION: Time to Get Out of Iraq. Our president is correct. We created the situation in Iraq. Consequently we have a moral obligation to see it through to a conclusion acceptable to the majority of the Iraqi people. The recent acceptance by the Iraqi citizens of the draft constitution to a large extent fulfills that obligation. Our president argues coalition forces must remain there until the Iraqis can maintain the peace. Our continued presence there may well be a deterrent to progress toward true democracy. I'm confident that we could speed up the reconstruction process as well as save lives and money (various sources estimate that we're spending between $5 and $10 billion per week on the occupation) if we paid the United Nations to take over the peacekeeping duties. (Iowa paper)


OPINION: Pull Out of Iraq Now. When Team Bush realized they had erred about weapons of mass destruction, they searched for another reason and came up with the War on Terror. That is, the terrorists they let into Iraq with their invasion. Bush has never come clean about the reason for the war, and now more than 2,000 of our men and women in uniform have paid the ultimate price. I say, bring our troops home now. (Louisiana Paper)


OPINION: Remember the Cause of the CIA Leak. So let’s not get too bogged down in details of the cover-up and the leak. More important is what was being covered up – the sometimes frantic effort to justify a war that didn’t seem to have much justification.


OPINION: A Better Strategy For Iraq. The Vietnam analogy is instructive and also haunting. At the end of the day, the challenge is for Iraqis to build a government that works and an army that can stand and fight. Otherwise, “clear and hold” will run into the same brick wall it did a generation ago. (This Op Ed piece talks about a Vietnam strategy and how current US Generals are reading up about it and applying it to Iraq. It supports my premise that the lessons of Vietnam is that we did not learn a damn thing. And the chicken-hawks kids are not going to learn anything from this Iraq war either.)


OPINION: Misled: Still No Iraq Answers. “The American people deserve to know not just whether this administration committed crimes, but whether this administration told the truth — the full truth, the straight story,” Rockefeller said. “And if they didn’t — if they misled about the war and if they misused intelligence, then the American people need to know that the Congress will do everything in its power to make sure that it never happens again.”


OPINION: Political Lies Fool Us Again. I will never forget looking into the eyes of Sen. John Edwards as he told me to my face that Iraq had nuclear weapons or was close to having them. If the United States did not go to war to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction, millions of innocent people could die. Yes, I believed him. And yes, I believed my president when he told Americans on Oct. 7, 2002, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."


OPINION: Pro-War Liberals Frozen in the Headlights


OPINION: NC Poll: Military and Public Turning Against Bush, Iraq War. More than 56 percent of military members surveyed in an Elon University poll said they disapprove or strongly disapprove with how the president is running the war. 51 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. should not be in Iraq, while 43 percent agreed with U.S. involvement in Iraq. More than 51 percent of military members said they did not know if the war was worth fighting. Roughly 29 percent said the war was not worth it and 19 percent said it was. When only 19 percent of military members feel a war is worth it, isn't it time to be thinking about getting out?


OPINION: TURKISH PRESS: The Name of Northern Iraq and Barzani’s Title - First, we should get used to saying: our neighbor’s name is no longer the Republic of Iraq, but the Federal Republic of Iraq. Moreover, the situation in northern Iraq has received an official or constitutional basis. It’s now called the Kurdistan Federate State, which has a separate flag, parliament, government, security forces, judicial system, and even a separate economy. Furthermore, its constitution supercedes Iraq’s constitution. Laws adopted in the Kurdish Parliament will be over and above Iraq’s constitution. In other words, the Iraqi government lacks authority and legality in that region (Article 53 in the new constitution). That is to say, Kurdistan is not an Arab territory any more.


OPINION: All Problems Bleed From America’s Wound. The 1950 decision to support a military-first rather than a people-first America—made without the knowledge and consent of the American people—was the egg that hatched the Cold War. Since then America has drifted toward destruction with the rise of public servants beholden to the industry of war instead of the industry of progress. Faced with peace, economic crisis arises. Thus, when the Cold War ended, the Pentagon increased its efforts to outsource all aspects of war to schools and companies in our communities. Such dependence on conflict must end. Here is our dilemma: America cannot be a just and peace-loving nation—nor can its people ever truly prosper—as long as its top industry is making and selling weapons. Here is our solution: In the true form of lobbying (that is, free of bribery), we must sing a single song in massive numbers and peacefully defiant fashion. By popular demand, we must change America’s priority from weapons for profit to human prosperity. Demand a people-based economy and true servants will rise to replace profiteers—and then we will clean up our government.


OPINION: Greg Palast: OPEC & The Economic Conquest of Iraq. TWO AND A HALF YEARS AND $202 BILLION into the war in Iraq, the United States has at least one significant new asset to show for it: effective membership, through our control of Iraq's energy policy, in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Arab-dominated oil cartel.

Just what to do with this proxy power has been, almost since President Bush's first inaugural, the cause of a pitched battle between neoconservatives at the Pentagon, on the one hand, and the State Department and the oil industry, on the other. At issue is whether Iraq will remain a member in good standing of OPEC, upholding production limits and thereby high prices, or a mutinous spoiler that could topple the Arab oligopoly.


PEACE ACTION: United for Peace and Justice ask you to call congress to support House Resolution “End the War in Iraq Act of 2005”. Send an email via this link:


PEACE ACTION: Progressive Democrats of America asks for you to call or write your member of Congress – to tell them to stop funding the war and bring the troops home.


PEACE ACTION: Cindy Sheehan spoke in NY in September, where she said that Senator Clinton needed to speak out against the war in Iraq. Join me in a postcard (or phone call) to Senator Clinton repeating Cindy’s message “Say it or you will lose your job.” Maybe we can get Senator Clinton to change her position. Her phone number is 202-224-4451 (you can leave a message on weekends) and her mailing address is 476 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510.


Local Story: National Guard Soldier From Galesburg Killed in Iraq (Illinois)


Local Story: Army Bids Farewell to its Highest-Ranking Iraq Casualty


Local Story: Fairfax Station Man Killed in Iraq. (Virginia) Jutras, born in Fayetteville, N.C., according to Army officials, was posthumously recommended for the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal. According to the family, Jutras geared much of his life to follow in the “footsteps” of his father, Pierre Jutras, a major in the U.S. Army.

Local Story: Ypsilanti Marine Killed in Helicopter Crash in Iraq (Michigan) "He strongly believed in what he was doing," stepmother Judy Bloomfield told The Detroit News. "He wasn't afraid. He wanted to fight for his country."


Local Story: Hudson, Wis., Soldier Killed in Iraq


Local Story: Another Colorado Soldier Dies in Iraq


Local Story: In the Pre-dawn Dark, An Unknown Soldier Is Carried Home.


Local Story: Small Town Honors Soldier Injured in Iraq


Local Story: Canton Homors 19-Year-Old Grad Killed In Iraq


QUOTE OF THE DAY: I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people; the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Posted for Dancewater/Susan)


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