Thursday, December 01, 2005

WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY DECEMBER 1, 2005 Bring ‘em on: Israelis training Kurds in Iraq. Private Israeli security firms have sent experts to Iraq's northern Kurdish region to give covert training to Kurdish security forces, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday. The daily Yedioth Ahronoth said that over the past year and a half the Israeli companies had set up a secret training base in northern Iraq as part of a multi-million dollar project with the Kurdish regional government. Bring ‘em on: Four people bound and gagged and then shot and left on the side of the road between Qaim and Ruba. Iraqi translator who worked with British forces assassinated in Basra. Three civilians killed when US vehicle rolled over their car in Kifl. US Marine died of wounds from small arms fire in Fallujah, and US Soldier died of gunshot north of Baghdad on Wednesday. Bring ‘em on: Gunman wound advisor to Iraq Interior Minister and kill one of his bodyguards. Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqi soldiers killed by car bomb in al Mishada. Bring ‘em on: Through the smoke of car bombs on the streets of Baghdad, Ali Kathem has trouble seeing the progress that President Bush described Wednesday in a speech in Annapolis. "At least we didn't have terrorism under Saddam Hussein. Now, we have explosions, kidnapping, stealing," said Kathem. Bring ‘em on: British mercenary firm exposed in civilian shooting incident in Iraq (via a trophy video, no less). Bring ‘em on: Ramadi rebels attack US bases, Iraqi offices. The attacks in Ramadi occurred as local tribal leaders and U.S. military officials were to hold their second meeting in a week at the governor's office in the city center. About 500 Iraqi troops joined 2,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors in a move to clear insurgents from an area on the eastern side of the Euphrates river near Hit, 85 miles west of Baghdad, the U.S. command said in a statement. Residents reached by telephone said U.S. forces warned townspeople by loudspeakers to stay in their homes for the next three days. Iraq's interior minister dismissed the senior inspector in charge of human rights on Thursday in connection with a scandal involving the torture of dozens of prisoners at a Baghdad prison, an official close to the minister said. Nouri al-Nouri, the ministry's chief inspector for corruption cases and human rights violations, was fired on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi rebels attack in Ramadi, seize some streets. Masked militants staged a show of strength in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Thursday, attacking a U.S. base and a local government building before seizing control of some streets, residents said. Scores of heavily armed men set up roadblocks at major entrance and exit points to the city -- a heartland of the insurgency in Iraq -- and patrolled the main thoroughfares, residents said. In some areas they dispersed after a few hours, but guerrillas remained in other parts. Leaflets were distributed and posted on walls saying al Qaeda in Iraq, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was taking over the city. "Its followers will burn the Americans and will drive them back to their homes by force. Iraq will be a graveyard for the Americans and their allies," one of the leaflets read. "They've taken control of all the main streets and other sections of Ramadi," a reporter for Reuters there said earlier. "I've seen about 400 armed men controlling streets, some of which were controlled by Americans before." REPORTS NEWS: Key Nations in US Led Force in Iraq Mulling Withdrawals (That would be Bulgaria and Ukraine, with a half dozen others debating possible pullouts or reductions.) NEWS: Hospitals under Siege Dr. Abdul Qader who works at Ramadi General Hospital told IPS that the critical care unit there lacked monitors, the CT scan was broken, and many other instruments were not working. Such problems are now common around the province, both doctors said. "In addition to lacking electricity, we often lack fuel deliveries for our generators," said Dr. Qader. "Our machines often break down, which puts our patients in very critical situations." Similar problems have been evident in Baghdad since last year. "We had a power outage while someone was undergoing surgery in the operating room," Ahlan Bar, manager of nurses at the Yarmouk Teaching Hospital in Baghdad told IPS. "He died on the table because we had no power for our instruments." NEWS: Sunni Group Calls for Release of Western Hostages as Humanitarian Gesture. COMMENTARY OPINION: Iraq: Things Fall Apart . Things are coming apart in Iraq. The US occupation is blundering from one crisis to another with no guiding strategy beyond "staying the course" (keeping a permanent military presence in the country). The occupation-fueled Shiite-Sunni conflict is growing in fury, casualties and dangers. The ripple effects of both the occupation/resistance and Sunni/Shiite conflicts are spreading throughout the region. The longstanding effort to cover up US torture and related brutalities has collapsed. Support among the US public for Bush's Iraq policy has plummeted to record lows and several of Washington's few remaining international supporters are jumping ship. Divisions within the US governing elite have turned into open and nasty fights. OPINION: US Soldiers Danced Around Dead Iraqi Civilians: Report HADITHA, Iraq, November 29, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Grinned US soldiers were dancing around bodies of Iraqi civilians killed during a US-led onslaught on the western city of Haditha, residents said on Monday, November 29. "I saw US soldiers laughing and dancing around the bodies of civilians killed in cold blood" a resident identified as Goma Al-Hadithi told the London-based Al-Quds Press news agency. The Rivergate offensive, which started on the first day of Ramadan on October 5, has left the Iraqi city in ruins and destroyed its two main bridges, leaving large parts practically inaccessible. "People were taking pains in ferrying their wounded relatives to the hospital through boats," Al-Hadithi said. "One of my neighbors died because we could not take him to hospital." FILM: Syriana . Given the increasing numbers of Americans who believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the country to justify the Iraqi invasion, many film-goers will no doubt be willing to accept the film's argument that America's thirst for oil—not the threat of terrorism, and certainly not a concern for human rights—drives the country's policies in the Middle East, even when those policies violate our core ideals. FILM: Masters of Horror on Showtime channel: HOMECOMING. Political satire from writer Sam Hamm and director Joe Dante in which the country is gripped with terror when it is discovered that zombies have swayed a presidential election. (Zombies are deceased Iraq war veterans.) OPINION: With Detainees, We’re Training Terrorists. The ultimate word on the administration's detention policy for alleged terrorists is not just immoral. It is incompetent. Four years into the "war on terror," the Bush administration is still making up the rules as it goes along. It has now treated one U.S. citizen - Padilla - far differently than it did another, Yasser Essam Hamdi. Hamdi was held for three years without charge until the Supreme Court ruled that he had the right to challenge his detention. The Bush administration then released him to his family in Saudi Arabia without bringing charges. From the beginning, the Bush administration's policy of detaining people without charge or any legal recourse, and loosening the standards for how they are treated while in custody, has been both wrong and wrongheaded. It is wrong because it is morally unacceptable for the United States to violate the most basic rules of conduct - sweeping even its own citizens into a lawless no-man's-land, where they are held as if on the whim of an autocrat.It is wrongheaded because we now are a paragon of hypocrisy, promoting the rule of law and denouncing human rights violations among others while systematically breaching them ourselves. PEACE ACTION: Say NO to war toys, from Code Pink QUOTE OF THE DAY: I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed.... I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.” — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speech at Chautauqua, N.Y., Aug. 14, 1936


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