War News for Thursday, November 10, 2005
Bring 'em on
: Two car bombs exploded this evening near a Shiite Muslim mosque in north-east Baghdad, killing at least six people and injuring 31, police and paramedics at the scene said.
Bring 'em on
: Five civilians were killed in a U.S. air strike on a house being used by insurgents on Nov. 7, the military said. The insurgents had killed two occupants when they forced their way into the house to use it to attack U.S. and Iraqi forces, who did not know hostages were being held, the military said.
Bring 'em on
: The Georgian Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed on November 9 that four Georgian servicemen were injured after an explosive went off in the Iraqi city of Baquba on November 7.
Bring 'em on
: Gunmen have kidnapped a brother of the Iraqi parliament's speaker Hajim al-Hassani, in the northern city of Kirkuk.
Bring 'em on
: In Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a minibus, killing its driver, police Capt. Qassim Hussein said. A roadside bomb in the southern neighborhood of Dora killed a motorist and wounded another man, police said.
Bring 'em on
: An intelligence officer was killed by gunmen in the southern city of Basra, intelligence officials said.
Bring 'em on
: Four policemen were injured when they were attacked by gunmen in southern Baghdad, police said.
Bring 'em on
: A man and a women working for the city council were killed by gunmen in the western Ghazaliya district of the capital, police said. The married couple were in their way to work when they were attacked.
Bring 'em on
: Police said the brother of parliamentary speaker Hajem al-Hassani was abducted on Tuesday in the northern city of Kirkuk.
Bring 'em on
: Three civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Baghdad, police said. The target of the bomb was not clear.
Bring 'em on
: Two Iraqi policemen were wounded when a car bomb exploded near an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad, police said.
Bring 'em on
: Four people were killed and two wounded when a car bomb exploded outside a recruiting centre in Tikrit.
Bring 'em on
: Two police officers were killed by gunmen in the northern city of Mosul, police said.
Bring 'em on
: Two suicide bombers detonated themselves near a restaurant frequented by Baghdad police Thursday morning, killing at least 33 people and injuring 19, police said.
Bring 'em on
: Twenty-seven bodies were found south of Baghdad, AFP reported citing a statement of the Iraqi Army. The bodies were found near the southern town of Al-Kut. All the victims were killed by firearms. They were dressed in civil clothes, had masks on their faces and their hands were tied together.
In Iraq Getting More Sophisticated:
The deadly munitions mark a steady improvement in the roadside bombs that debuted in 2003 in Iraq, often as simple as a single artillery shell wrapped with detonator cord linked to a battery.
The new bombs are a deadly marriage of stealthy camouflage, shaped explosives that propel metal projectiles through four inches of armor and infrared motion-detector triggers that can't be blocked by electronic jammers.
"It works like a burglar alarm, a beam that goes across a doorway. Once the beam is broken it triggers the bomb," said Amyas Godfrey, a former British army intelligence officer who left Iraq in October 2004 after serving two tours.
Improvements for 21st Century Mil/LE Urban Operations:
(I believe this is an advertisement.)
Until now, military ammunition improvements have not kept pace with weapons platform advances. This is understandable with the limits placed on small arms ammunition by international treaties and conventions governing land warfare.
One of the driving ideas behind the adaptation of the "Black Rifle" and its varmint caliber ammunition was to lighten the load of the ground pounding Infanteer. That was achieved through remarkable engineering, but it didn't take long for the soldier to reverse the situation. The new light weight rounds enabled the trooper to up his basic load of the M14 rifle's 7.62x51mm/.308 Win. from 120 rounds to 400 of the 5.56x45mm/.223 Rem., or carry more grenades, anti tank rockets or mortar rounds into the fight. Weight wise, little changed and this continues today at an even more accelerated pace with the addition of scopes, lasers, electronic optics, grenade launchers and etc. The men love the gadgetry and the optics have certainly given us a hit ratio advantage, but they... habitually request that this technology be made lighter, more compact and multi functional.
derailment damages equipment on Fort hood:
A train derailment late Monday night damaged military tanks headed to Iraq. Eleven M1A2 tanks were damaged in the accident on Fort Hood around 10:30.
Fort Hood officials say the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hit a locomotive, which threw the tanks off the railcars. It's believed that the train's brakes failed.
plans to leave equipment with Iraqi army:
The U.S. military plans to leave thousands of trucks and combat vehicles for the Iraq Army.
Officials said the Defense Department has approved a plan in which the U.S. military would not withdraw from Iraq together with much of the equipment deployed in that country since 2003. Instead, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps would transfer the vehicles and weaponry to the Iraq Army.
troops are leaving Iraq:
Ukrainian troops have completed their mission in Iraq and are ready to come home, the defense minister told Thursday. "The military mission is over and now is the time for diplomats, industry workers and businessmen to have their word," Defense Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko said after returning from a two-day trip to Iraq. Grytsenko said it was too early "to speak about complete stabilization" in Iraq, noting that "the development of democracy is a long process."
"It will probably take 10 years or even more, but the tendency is positive," he said. Ukraine's remaining 876 troops in Iraq are due home by Dec. 30. Ukraine strongly opposed the U.S.-led war but later agreed to send 1,650 troops to serve under Polish command in central and southern Iraq.
A look at an average days news from CENTCOM:
IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES DESTROYED
IN IRAQ FORGER CAPTURED IN BAGHDAD
IRAQI, U.S. FORCES CAPTURE DOZENS OF TERROR
AFGHAN, U.S. PATROL KILLS FOUR ENEMY
DURING AMBUSH NEAR DEH RAHWOD
But you will need to look hard to find this:
Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon in Iraq
That's right. Not from Al Jazeera, or Al Arabiya, but the US Army, in their very own publication, from the (WARNING: pdf file) March edition of Field Artillery Magazine in an article entitled "The Fight for Fallujah":
WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."
In other words the claim by the US Government that White Phosphorus was used only for illumination at Fallujah had been pre-emptively debunked by the Army. Indeed, the article goes on to make clear that soldiers would have liked to have saved more WP rounds to use for "lethal missions."
However, as Mark Kraft, an emailer to Eric Alterman's blog, Alteraction, points out today, the Field Artillery Magazine article fails to inform its audience that...
. . . there is no way you can use white phosphorus like that without forming a deadly chemical cloud that kills everything within a tenth of a mile in all directions from where it hits. Obviously, the effect of such deadly clouds weren't just psychological in nature.
GOP to Strike Arctic Drilling From House Bill
House GOP leaders agreed last night to strip plans to permit oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the offshore continental shelf from a $54 billion budget-cutting measure, probably securing the votes to pass the bill today.
The move is a blow to President Bush, who has made expanded oil exploration a priority since he took office. Lawmakers said the White House applied pressure yesterday to Republicans to save the drilling provisions, especially in Alaska, even wooing conservative Democrats who have steadfastly opposed the GOP budget package.
But the Democrats did not budge, and at least 22 Republicans told the House leadership they would not vote for the sweeping bill unless the drilling provision was removed and they were given assurances that it would not return after House and Senate negotiators hash out a final measure. Even then, several moderate Republicans have said they still would oppose the bill, which would allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid recipients, cut funds for student loans and child support enforcement, trim farm supports, and restrict access to food stamps.
Bombings Kill More Than 50 At Three Hotels In Jordan:
Three nearly simultaneous bomb blasts tore through hotels here Wednesday night, killing more than 50 people, wounding at least 110 and sending fear and panic through the streets of the normally tranquil city.
Jordanian authorities immediately shut down many of the capital's main roads and deployed dozens of ambulances, police cars and military vehicles to help evacuate the wounded to a half-dozen overflowing hospitals. The country's land borders were closed about an hour after the attacks.
The Return of Ahmad Chalabi
It might have been awkward for President Bush to have told Ahmad Chalabi, a deputy prime minister in Iraq, that he would receive no official welcome in Washington this week. Mr. Chalabi does not easily take no for an answer, and he seems to have no inhibitions about embarrassing his former friends with impolitic remarks, especially if they help him in next month's Iraqi elections. But it is disgraceful to hand this multiply discredited schemer the prestige he will surely milk from his meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the national security adviser, Stephen Hadley.
Mr. Chalabi is not just any political opportunist. He, more than any other Iraqi, is responsible for encouraging the Bush administration to make two disastrous mistakes about the Iraq intervention: basing its justification for war on the false premise that Saddam Hussein had active unconventional-weapons programs, and falsely imagining that the Iraqi people would greet the invasion with undiluted joy.
Nor did Mr. Chalabi's destructive influence stop there. After the invasion, he played a leading role in persuading American occupation authorities to issue a blanket decree against former Baath Party members, sweeping aside the lawyers, doctors, teachers and other professionals who had preserved their careers by joining the lower ranks of Mr. Hussein's party. That exclusion helped cement the disastrous estrangement of the Sunni Arab middle class. Mr. Chalabi personally took charge of enforcing this purge, and he still resists efforts by the United States and less divisive Iraqi parties to rein it in for the sake of national unity.
As if all that weren't enough, Mr. Chalabi is suspected by United States government investigators of tipping off Iran that American spy agencies had broken its codes and were covertly reading its international messages, a charge he vehemently denies.
Mr. Chalabi's record as a double-dealer and unreliable source stretches back for decades. He has long been distrusted by those in the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency who know Iraq best. But during the crucial months that the Bush administration was planning the invasion and occupation, Mr. Chalabi became a favorite of pro-war Pentagon and White House officials, largely by telling them what they wanted to hear. It is alarming that the administration is still willing to reward him with such a high-ranking official audience.
From a Billmon's link
... Cheney and Porter Goss, director of the CIA, have proposed a modification of the McCain amendment that would permit the president to exempt the CIA from its strictures. McCain wisely rejected that proposal. So should the conferees.
If the administration's proposal passed, what would be the consequences? Why should we adhere to the Geneva Conventions when our terrorist enemies do not?
The answers are simple. First, we have long championed the Geneva Conventions because we want our citizens treated humanely when they are captured. Second, morally it is the right thing to do. If this amendment passes, what weight will our complaints have when other governments use their intelligence services to torture Americans?
There are also practical considerations that argue against the administration's proposal. It would sow even further confusion in the field, where decisions must be made by young officers who act under enormous stress and often in fear for their lives. Those officers demand, and we must provide, clear guidance with respect to what they may and may not do. The CIA and the military operate cheek-by-jowl, often in small teams far from command structures and lawyers. If those teams operate with two sets of rules, confusion will reign and abuses will occur. ...
If the vice president's proposal is adopted, the CIA will presumably be free to bolster democracy by torturing anyone who does not embrace it with sufficient enthusiasm. Some democracy.
New poll finds Bush's approval hit new low
Washington: US President George W. Bush's approval ratings have hit a new low, signaling political trouble ahead for the American leader, according to a new opinion poll. The joint survey by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that public opinion of Bush performance in five areas -- overall job performance, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism and Iraq -- have hit new lows.
The president's overall job approval rating stood at 38 percent, a one-point decline since October, showed the poll made public yesterday. Meanwhile, only 34 percent of those surveyed approved of his handling of the economy, 35 percent of foreign policy, 39 percent of his policy on terrorism and 32 percent of Iraq.
The survey showed 57 percent of Americans believed Bush deliberately misled people to make the case for war, compared with 35 percent who said he gave the most accurate information he had. In addition, 58 percent were less confident the war will come to a successful conclusion, while 57 percent said the United States should reduce the number of US troops in Iraq.
The Georgian Ministry of Defense
(MoD) confirmed on November 9 that four Georgian servicemen were injured after an explosive went off in the Iraqi city of Baquba on November 7.
, while on a mission in Iraq, Carpenter's HumVee hit a land mine. He lost his right leg and his left foot. While he doesn't recall the explosion, he does remember America's cause.
a former Army specialist, was injured Oct. 15, 2004, in a suicide car bombing near the Syrian border that killed two members of his Army Psychological Operations team. He was almost unrecognizable and being kept alive by machines. He suffered skull and brain trauma, a fractured vertebrae and a collapsed lung. He also broke his sternum, clavicles and right arm.
of a Sumter Marine tell News 10 that Jamie Shirley was injured in Iraq on Saturday night. His wife tells us Jamie was on patrol Saturday night when a fire fight started, he was hit below his knee cap and now he can't feel his leg.
Ian LeJeune was seriously injured on Feb. 23 when a rocket hit his barracks. Four men were injured, with LeJeune the most seriously hurt. He had two broken legs, a broken left ankle and the loss of the Achilles tendon in his right foot. He also had second- and third-degree burns.
was injured when the vehicle he was riding near Camp Fallujah overturned as it struck a loose piece of land. He suffered a broken leg and ruptured artery in the leg. He was transferred to a hospital in Germany and then to Bethesda Hospital in Maryland.
Darrell W. Boatman, 38, died Friday at Landstuhl Reginal Medical Center, Germany, from wounds he sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Habbaniyah, Iraq.
A 19 year-old
Ranum High School graduate has become the 28th service member from Colorado to die in the Iraq War. Private First Class Jeremy Tamburello suffered severe burns over half of his body when a roadside bomb exploded near the supply truck he was driving Monday
SAS Warrant Officer
David Nary was directing speeding four-wheel-drive vehicles during a bodyguard drill when he was run over by one of his men. The accident occurred in Kuwait on Sunday when the close personal protection team he was in charge of was conducting rehearsals and drills before deploying to Baghdad.
Lance Cpl. Ryan J. Sorensen
, 26, a rifleman with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, was killed Sunday by enemy small-arms fire in the town of Husaybah.