Thursday, January 12, 2006

War News for Thursday, January 12, 2006 Bring 'em on: a Polish soldier wounded during a raid carried out by Iraqi, American and Polish troops near the town of Hamza, south of Baghdad Bring 'em on: A roadside bomb exploded next to a police patrol outside Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, killing two policemen Bring 'em on: Iraqi police found seven bodies shot in the head, their legs and hands bound, in a sewer in eastern Baghdad Bring 'em on: Army prosecutors said a 19-year-old soldier from North Carolina who returned from combat in Iraq stabbed his 18-year-old wife at least 71 times. Bring 'em on: Insurgents pounded a U.S.base with mortar rounds near the flash point city of Fallujah on Thursday near the Ameriyat al-Fallujah town. The U.S. troops fired back randomly at the town, destroying a civilian car and wounding its driver, they said, adding that the U.S. troops also blocked the main road leading to the town. Bring 'em on: Gunmen killed four people near Mosul on Wednesday, including a former senior member of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party. A week from the forgotten battlefield: "Ten persons including some policemen and civilians were killed in a suicide attack this afternoon in Tirin Kot, the provincial capital of Uruzgan," provincial spokesperson Abdullah Jan told Xinhua. Gunmen opened fire on members of "Musa Group", killing head of the group Musa, his father, brother, nephew as well as guards and driver, reports from Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan tribal agency said. "A pupil of grade nine was killed when a remote-controlled bomb planted by enemies targeted a police van in Chaparhar district at around 9 am this morning," Dad Mohammad Rasa told Xinhua. A roadside bomb blew up Saturday as a van packed with police cadets and trainers was driving through an eastern Afghan city, killing a passer-by and wounding a police colonel and driver, officials said. Pakistan — Assailants armed with rockets and assault rifles attacked a newly built checkpoint near the Afghan border in Pakistan before dawn today, killing all eight security personnel, officials said. Hours after the attack, an aircraft attacked a home belonging to a local cleric along the Pakistan-Afghan border, about 50 kilometres west of the checkpoint, killing eight people and wounding several others, local residents said. "Two rockets fired from Gazara district yesterday at midnight landed at the airport but left no casualties," Suspected Taliban gunmen burned down a primary school in Afghanistan's main southern city Sunday, the latest in a spate of attacks against teachers and institutions that educate girls. No one was hurt in the pre-dawn attacks against the Qabail Primary School in Kandahar. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar on Monday vowed more attacks against US forces in Afghanistan, a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai suggested he "get in touch" if he wanted peace. Pakistan has protested to the U.S. military in Afghanistan over firing at a Pakistani village near the Afghan border that killed eight people, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. Three Pakistani soldiers were injured Monday when militants attacked their security checkpoint near the Afghan border. Taliban militants set fire on three schools Sunday night in Afghan southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, local officials said Monday. MILITANTS clashed with Pakistani forces in a troubled tribal zone bordering Afghanistan today, leaving seven paramilitary troops and 14 suspected insurgents dead, officials said. Decembers Military Deaths: U.S.--68 Coalition--0 Marines--15 Army--53 total--68 Officer--3 Warrant--2 Enlisted--63 male--65 female--3 Marines by rank: E1--0--private E2--0--private first class E3--8--lance corporal E4--4--corporal E5--1--sergeant E6--2--staff sergeant E7--0--gunnery sergeant E8--0--master/first sergeant 01--0--2nd lieutenant 02--0--1st lieutenant 03--0--captain 04--0--major 05--0--Lieutenant Colonel 06--0--colonel Army by rank: E1--0--private E2--2--private second class E3--2--private first class E4--18--corporal/specialist E5--14--sergeant E6--7--staff sergeant E7--4--sergeant first class E8--1--master/first sergeant W1--2--warrant officer 01--0--2nd lieutenant 02--3--1st lieutenant 03--0--captain 04--0--major 05--0--Lieutenant Colonel 06--0--colonel Deaths by Division: 1st Marine Expeditionary Force--12 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force--3 1st Armored Div.--4 3rd Infantry Div.--8 4th Infantry Div--5 10th Mountain Div--1 101st Airborne Div--10 3rd Armored Cav. Reg.--2 11th Armored Cav. Reg.--1 III Corps Artillery--1 89th MP. Brigade--1 Special Opps. Command--1 5th engineer Battalion--1 4th psy-opps group--1 5th Special Forces--1 Army National Guard--12 Army Reserve--3 Deaths by Location: Baghdad--23 Fallujah--13 Ramadi--5 Tikrit--5 Hospital--4 Tallil Air Base--3 Bayji--3 Taji--3 Balad--2 Yusufiyah--2 Balad--2 Habbaniyah--1 Balad--1 Iskandariyah--1 Mahmudiyah--1 Kirkuk--1 Death by Cause: Hostile--57 Non-hostile--11 IED attack--42 small arms fire--8 suicide car bomb--3 vehicle accident--3 mortar attack--2 helicopter crash--2 illness--2 ordnance accident--1 RPG attack--1 weapon discharge--1 accidental fall--1 unspecified injury--1 mine--1 OIL: Natural Gas Futures Dip As Inventories Rise: In its weekly natural gas report, the Department of Energy said underground storage of natural gas in the lower 48 states totaled 2.64 trillion cubic feet last week, an increase of 1 billion cubic feet from the prior week that left inventories 3 percent below year ago levels. In a separate report, the agency said commercially available supplies of crude oil declined last week by 1 million barrels to 321.6 million barrels, or 12.5 percent above year ago levels. However, gasoline stocks grew by 1.4 million barrels to 204.3 million barrels, or 6 percent below year ago levels and distillate fuel stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 2.1 million barrels to 128.9 million barrels, or 2 percent above last year. February natural gas futures slid 71.7 cents, or 7 percent, to $9.48 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, putting the front-month contract 40 percent below its peak of $15.78 on Dec. 13. Natural gas futures are also below their levels immediately prior to Hurricane Katrina, which knocked out platforms, pipelines and processing plants and sent prices soaring. Light sweet crude for February delivery dropped by 42 cents to $63 per barrel, gasoline futures fell 1.95 cent to $1.765 a gallon and heating oil futures dipped half a cent to $1.8130 a gallon. OPEC's December production slips: OPEC's oil output in December fell to its lowest level since May as Saudi Arabia cut output and Iraqi exports slumped, a Reuters survey showed. Output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fell 180,000 bpd to 29.81 million bpd. Saudi Arabia cut production by 150,000 bpd to about 9.4 million bpd as buyers in the U.S. requested less crude ahead of shutdowns for spring refinery maintenance, according to the survey of consultants, shippers, industry and OPEC sources. The guerilla war for Iraq's oil: Currently, America is losing the conflict in rather stunning fashion with little hope of reversing the situation in the near future. This week the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced that oil production "has reached a post-war low" and that the "exports of crude, which had run at an average of about 1.6 million barrels per day since the end of the 2003 war, dropped to 1.2 mbpd in November and 1.1 mbpd in December." (Al Jazeera) All the indicators point to reduced production due to the escalating violence. At times, the export of oil has been completely cut off in both the northern and southern regions making it impossible to capitalize off Iraq's prodigious resources. The Iraqi resistance has grown increasingly skillful in sabotaging pipelines and facilities despite the massive security operations devoted to their protection. This is truly the face of 21st century warfare; disparate cells of armed guerillas disrupting critical energy supplies that sustain the global economy. US sees Iraqi oil production choked for years: Iraq has vast hydrocarbon potential that could rival major producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, but United States government analysts are predicting that Iraqi oil production development will remain thwarted for years to come. Its enormous reserves of an estimated 115-billion barrels of proven crude are the world's third largest after those of the Saudi Kingdom and Canada. As of December 2005, Iraqi net oil production was averaging a modest 1,9-million barrels per day (bpd) according to the latest country report on Iraq compiled by the US government's Energy Information Agency (EIA). This is well below production levels of an estimated 2,3-million bpd in January 2003 just before the US-led military operation to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime. The December number is also well below the near 3,5-million-bpd production level prior to Iraq's 1990 invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait that led to the 1991 Gulf War. "Most analysts believe that there will be no major additions to Iraqi production capacity for at least two-three years, with Shell's vice-president recently stating that any auction of Iraqi's oilfields was unlikely before 2007," said the EIA report released late in December 2005 and carried on its website. India sets out $2.5 bln state oil reserve by 2015: India, Asia‘s third-largest oil consumer, finally firmed up on Friday stalled plans to build a strategic crude oil reserve by 2015, aiming to bolster its energy security as imports rise, officials said. Storage facilities will be built in three locations and will be completed in nine years, he said. India expects crude imports to rise from 70 percent of consumption now to 85 percent in the next two decades, with a growing share from the Middle East, where anxiety over supplies runs high due to instability in Iraq , the nuclear programme in Iran and militant threats against major Gulf producers. Gas stations selling ethanol to grow in ’06: This year, thousands of filling stations are expected to begin selling E85, a blend of gasoline and ethanol made from corn or other crops. Advocates of E85 tout the fuel as a made-in-America alternative to imported oil that cuts dirty tailpipe emissions, boosts performance and, in some cases, can also save a little money. Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline: US against deal: The United States said it was “absolutely opposed” to a natural gas pipeline project linking Iran with Pakistan and India, even though an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert saw it feasible. “The US government supports multiple pipelines from that (the Caspian) region but remains absolutely opposed to pipelines involving Iran,” senior State Department official Steven Mann told a forum in Washington late Wednesday. Iraq halts oil exports via Ceyhan: Iraq has halted its oil crude exports via the Turkish port of Ceyhan for technical reasons rather than interruptions in the past caused by insurgent attacks, a source at the Northern Oil Company said last Thursday. Iraqi oil minister Uloum back at work: Ibrahim Bahr Al Uloum's return for a probable four-year term appears part of intense partisan wrangling over the formation of a full-term government following the December 15 election to replace the interim administration. Oil prices test fresh 3-month: Oil prices rose above 64 usd, testing fresh 3-month highs, on concern Iran's decision to restart its nuclear research programme could pave the way for Security Council sanctions against the key OPEC producer. At 11.16 am, February-dated Brent futures contracts were up 76 cents at 62.93 usd a barrel, while US WTI benchmark February-dated contracts were up 71 cents at 64.65 usd. Politics: Cheney disgraces uniform, military: Just before Christmas, Dick Cheney made a "surprise" visit to troops in Iraq. Of course, he chose to "sneak" into Iraq, like a thief in the night. Our brave troops didn't "sneak" into that country. That act alone makes me sick enough. But what really made my blood boil, and turned my stomach, was the sight of Cheney addressing combat troops in a war zone, donning a U.S. Army jacket. That was a most audacious act on behalf of Mr. Cheney. Here is a man who diligently sought, and received no less than five deferments in order to avoid military service during the Vietnam War. As far as I am concerned, Cheney displayed his true colors with those deferments long ago, when he chose to dodge the draft. What shameless gall this man has. In my opinion, Cheney soiled that U.S. Army jacket and disgraced the military. He is not worthy to wear that jacket. This was a most despicable act. He ought to be ashamed of himself. But then, the Bush administration knows no shame for their acts. It is my guess that many of those troops gave thought to those five deferments. How could they not? This act was a disgrace to the uniform and the military in general. It was an out right mockery. The Bush-Cheney regime has been one long, horrible nightmare that this nation will be long in recovery from, if indeed we can recover. And I do not appreciate one iota these types of audacious and despicable acts from the administration. Dick Cheney needs to do the right thing for a change, and apologize to the troops and the country for his arrogant act of mockery. Murtha says he's not to blame for recruitment problems: "They're trying to direct attention away from their problems," said Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Marine Corps veteran who has become a leading voice in Congress advocating an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. In a statement released Thursday, Murtha said: "The military had no problem recruiting directly after 9/11 because everyone understood that we had been attacked. But now the military's ability to attract recruits is being hampered by the prospect of prolonged, extended and repeated deployments, inadequate equipment, shortened home stays, the lack of any connection between Iraq and the brutal attacks of 9/11, and -- most importantly -- the administration's constantly changing, undefined, open-ended military mission in Iraq." Later Thursday, Murtha said he's spoken with military leaders and "they're frustrated by their mission." Beyond the ballot By Noam Chomsky: Anti-War Group Has Documents Proving NSA Spied on Them: MA: During a trial for arrests at NSA on October 4, 2003, an internal NSA email was given to the defendants from the Pledge by an NSA witness. The email showed that the NSA had been physically spying on the Pledge as it prepared to depart on July 3, 2004 (the trial for the 10/04/03 arrest was in 8/04) from the American Friends Service Committee on York Rd. in Baltimore to the NSA. The email is time chronological and details the Pledge's activities as it assembled in the parking lot of the AFSC, number of people, who is going in which vehicles, what vehicles were being used, their make and license plate numbers, what signs we were carrying, the helium tanks (for balloons) we were bringing and also recognizes and names Max Obuszewski as one of the protesters. The email then details, with specific times, our progress on the road from Baltimore to the NSA. It goes on to describe our demonstration and subsequent arrests. The email begins at 9:40am, prior to our arrival at the NSA at around 12 noon, and proceeds through the day. We were also given during the same trial, an "NSA Police Action Plan" to "effectively respond to the threat of a demonstration hosted by a group known as Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore on October 4, 2003. It goes on in GREAT detail to outline the NSA response to the protest. It mentions counter-surveillance by the NSA during the demo, obviously different from being spying upon at the AFSC in Baltimore. The Pledge believes the NSA must be spying on us from the federal post office right across a small street from the AFSC. It's the only place that gives them enough of a view to see our cars/license plate numbers. They are, no doubt, using sophisticated equipment to do so. It's entirely possible this spying occurs via satellite or some other such instrument. But spying on us they are. Also - during the March 20, 2003 demonstration in downtown Baltimore, a provocateur (whom we had identified at our planning meeting the previous night) joined us. We'd never seen him before. He was obviously talking, meeting really, with the police across the street and then later during the die-in at the federal courthouse, taunting the police in a violent manner. We had to quiet him down, he then disappeared and we never saw him again - and, of course, he wasn't arrested with the other 49 of us. War News: Pentagon To Retire U-2 Spy Plane: A classified budget document approved by the Pentagon Dec. 23 calls for the termination by 2011 of one of the most heavily relied-upon reconnaissance planes in the Iraq war. PBD 720 would retire three U-2s in 2007, six in 2008, seven in both 2009 and 2010 and the final 10 in 2011. Marines go with Sikorsky: Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford will develop the Marine Corps' new heavy-lift helicopter over the next decade, bringing in nearly $19 billion for the Connecticut defense contractor. Sikorsky is scheduled to deliver the first of 156 new CH-53K helicopters to the Marines starting in 2015. Until then, the company will receive an estimated $4.2 billion to totally revamp the Marines' CH-53E Super Stallion. Long Convoy Duty is no Easy Task: By dawn, Airmen of the 424th Medium Truck Detachment had finished preparing for their mission -- move Army 4th Infantry Division supplies and material from Kuwait into Iraq. US Army its own worst enemy: British officer: In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such "cultural insensitivity" that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency. Casualty Reports: Killed: Lance Corporal Little, Jason 1st Lieutenant Campbell, Jaime Specialist Edwards, Michael Specialist Melson, Jacob Captain Martinez, Michael Major Labouff, Douglas 1st Lieutenant deMoors, Joseph Sergeant Field, Nathan Sergeant Camilomatos, Radhames Civilian Robert Timmann Civilian Dale Stoffel Civilian Darren Birch Wounded: Sgt. 1st Class Daniel L. Gubler--IED--blinded and with his left arm severed Staff Sgt. Kenneth Welch--roadside shooting and bombing--several lost teeth, bruises, and a possible concussion Marine Cpl. Travis Greene--IED--lost both legs in an explosion Guard Sgt. Randy Divel--IED--burned about 40 percent of his body Spc. Joseph Frommer--IED--Three of Joseph's front teeth had been rammed up into his gum, injury to his calf Sgt. Paul Douglas Raines Junior--IED--sent shrapnel into the right side of Sgt. Raines' body and skull, also broke his arm in at least six places. Specialist Rick McClary--suicide bomb--sustained shrapnel wounds Specialist Braxton McCoy--suicide bomb--both legs broken


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