Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute to this project. Since Dancewater put up a megapost yesterday, I'll just give a succinct news update and a few items that are of particular interest to me, and go light on the opinion and commentary links, while y'all digest that wealth of material from yesterday. And thanks to the whole team here for their great support and encouragement. It's my first time, so be gentle. Bring 'Em On: A Marine assigned to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died of wounds received from small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against the enemy in Ar Ramadi, Jan 13. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

Bring 'Em On: Marine dies of apparent non-hostile gunshot at FOB Haditha Dam. Bring 'Em On: Police lieutenant shot dead in Baquba; Police brigadier and 4 bodyguards seriously wounded in ambush near Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad; earlier, four policemen were seriously wounded by roadside bomb in same town; Four policemen were wounded by roadside bomb near Taza; Police brigadier and major abducted and killed in the village of Ulwiya near Hawija, 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Kirkuk. Note claims responsibilty on behalf of "The Sunni Supporters"; Iraqi engineer found shot dead in Kirkuk, second engineer abducted by gunmen between the town of Taza and Kirkuk; Iraqi soldier killed and another wounded by roadside bomb in Balad; Gunmen shot dead a police colonel in Baiji. Bring 'Em On: Iraqi police say an Iraqi civilian was killed and two injured by a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol in a suburb of Hillah, 100 kilometre south of the capital, no information on U.S. casualties. U.S. vehicle destroyed near Fallujah, again no word on casualties. (Note: For the past 2 hours, between 10:00 am and 12:00 am as I write this post, the Centcom site has been blocked, with the following message: The following file(s) have been blocked by the administrator: /CENTCOMNews/casualties.asp. So I may not have a complete list.) Other News from Iraq Chief Judge in trial of Saddam Hussein has asked to resign, ostensibly over criticism of his handling of the trial. Remaining members of tribunal have not decided whether to accept his resignation. U.S. releases 500 prisoners from Abu Ghraib, said to be found not guilty of "serious" crimes. U.S. frees two Reuters journalists from Abu Ghraib after holding them for months without charges. Reuters continues to petition for freedom for Samir Mohammed Noor, who continues to be held without charges. Freelance journalist Jill Carroll still missing after abduction on January 7, no contact reported with her captors. Gen. Casey re-ups for a third year as occupier-in-Chief. It isnt' news to our readers, but U.S. corporate media are finally starting to mention the growing use of aerial bombing and strafing by the U.S. in Iraq, along with the issue of collateral damage. Iraqi militants step up recruitment efforts, using video discs. Yours truly has compiled a review of what we know about the public health situation in Iraq. It is likely that more Iraqis are dying because of malnutrition, contaminated water, and the devastated medical and public health infrastructure, than from violence, but without any functioning disease surveillance or vital statistics systems, we can only describe the situation qualitatively. Check out my site for the rundown. News from Elsewhere Death toll in botched U.S. attack in Damadola, Pakistannow reported to be 22. Word of an earlier strike 8 days ago in the same region, that killed 8 civilians, also emerges. Villagers deny that Ayman al-Zawahiri, or any senior al Qaeda leaders, were present. Note: I happened to catch the CBS news report on this last night, and they trotted out a "counterterrorism expert" to explain that this was actually a great victory for the United States. It "sends a message" and if Zawahiri "has to constantly look over his shoulder for attacks by hellfire missiles, he won't have time to plot terrorist attacks." Sadly, I expect that this is how much of the U.S. electorate will view this incident. The deaths of Pakistani civilians are politically inconsequential here, while appearing "tough" and "resolute" is much more important than having a clue about the sources of resentment against the U.S., and the foreign policy and law enforcement strategies that might actually reduce the risk of terrorist attacks. Talk of impeachment suddenly gets more serious, but the illegal war doesn't seem to be among the counts. Local News Father of 2 little girls from Sarasota killed in chopper downing Other chopper crew member leaves bereaved parents in Leicester, North Carolina Homecoming for members of the 3rd Armored Cavalry, Fort Carson


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