DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, May 12, 2006
: Demonstration against United States asking its troops to withdraw from Iraq immediately in Bombay, India, May 10, 2006. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Four U.S. Marines died in Iraq when their tank rolled off a bridge into a canal and they drowned
: The accident happened Thursday when the four Marines with Regimental Combat Team 5 were traveling in a U.S. M1A1 Main Battle Tank near Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad in Anbar Province.
Armed men in police uniforms kidnapped a Lebanese man in Iraq.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Three US fuel transport tankers were set on fire Thursday in an attack by militants near Al-Mshahda, North Baghdad.
Three fuel tankers were burned completely.
Bomb in parked car exploded near an office of a Shi'ite Islamist party in Baghdad
but caused no casualties and little damage.
Roadside bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in Baladiyat district, eastern Baghdad, wounding one policeman.
Body of an unidentified man with gunshot wounds to the head and showing signs of torture found in Sadr City.
Ahmed Midhat Mahmoud, the son of a senior judge, and two of his guards killed by gunmen in an ambush in Adhamiya district, northern Baghdad.
Police killed a man who tried to plant a bomb under the car of Baqouba's mayor.
Khan Bani Saad:
Bodies of four people in military uniform, two of them beheaded, found in the town of Khan Bani Saad, near Baquba north of Baghdad.
It was not clear whether they were involved in an attempt by men in army uniforms to kidnap civilians that was thwarted by police on Thursday.
Four Iraqi soldiers killed and seven civilians were wounded in clashes between the Iraqi army and insurgents in the town of Dhuluiya
, 40 km (25 miles) north of Baghdad. It was not clear if there were any casualties among the insurgents.
A former senior local official in Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting while he was returning home from a market at Mahmudiya
, about 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad.
Gunmen attacked a funeral in the town of Balad Ruz, about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Baquba, killing two civilians and wounding two.
Truck contracted by Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces to transport foods and other supplies was blown up near Samawah
in an apparent roadside bomb attack. The truck burst into flames, but nobody was injured.
Iraqi police killed two insurgents on Thursday when they attacked a police patrol in the northern city of Tal Afar.
Two “terrorists” were killed and three Iraqi policemen were injured during armed clashes in Tel Afar.
A professor of Islamic law was shot dead after assailants stopped his car in Fallujah.
Three gunmen killed a Sunni imam of the al-Khudairi mosque in the Ashar area of central Basra, and his son as they were leaving the building after Friday prayers.
One insurgent killed and another was wounded on Thursday when a U.S. helicopter fired on them while they were placing a roadside bomb east of Hawija
, 70 km (45 miles) southwest of Kirkuk.
Two insurgents killed and one wounded and a fourth was detained by police when a bomb they were placing on a road exploded in central Kirkuk.
Iraqi police said three mortar shells fell inside the police academy in Eastern Mosul.
The attack caused material damage but no human casualties were reported.
”Insurgents” lobbed a hand grenade from a building rooftop onto a vehicle belonging to the Iraqi army killing four Iraqi Kurdish soldiers near Al-Dalueiya
, 100 kilometres north of Baghdad in Salah el Dein governorate. An accompanying division of Kurdish soldiers immediately opened fire on the surrounding buildings resulting in the death of one civilian and the wounding of seven others.
Two Iraqi civilians including a woman and a child killed and another three injured after being caught in crossfire between US forces and insurgents in the city of Al-Khalidiya
, 80 kilometres west of Baghdad. Witnesses reported that the shootout between US forces and insurgents took place after a rocket attack targeting a US patrol along the Al-Khalidiya highway left several soldiers wounded. No details on casualties in that attack were immediately available.
Shi'ite Islamist party said it was pulling out of talks on forming a new government on Friday, criticizing U.S. interference:
The withdrawal of the Fadhila party, part of the Alliance bloc, may help end a struggle over the key post of oil minister. The party had been pushing its own candidate against Hussain al-Shahristani, the choice of bigger Alliance groups.
He criticized other parties for trying to force candidates for ministries on to the Alliance's prime minister-designate, Nuri al-Maliki, as well as pressure from the United States. "The current negotiations are subject to external pressures from the American ambassador in Iraq," Saadi added.
Bosnia's defense minister denies any clandestine shipment of arms to Iraq
, saying its weapons delivery to the country was legal and that they had gone into the possession of the new Iraqi government.
Ugandan guards sexually abused while working with U.S. forces in Iraq:
Some of the Ugandan recruits at Alasad Airbase, northwest of Iraq, one of the biggest U.S. fortresses, were allegedly sodomized by foreign soldiers and admitted at the Gettysburg health facilityinside the fortress, according to a report of Daily Monitor on Thursday. Sources said two Ugandans, Enock Bashaija and Geoffrey Kawuka, slipped into a coma due to brutal assaults at the hands of foreign officers at Alasad Airbase after they queried terms of the contract.
AMERICAN SNIPERS IN RAMADI KILLING WOMEN AND CHILDREN
:"An Iraqi Resistance Fighter in Ramadi has confirmed that the number of American snipers on the roofs of buildings in the city are estimated to be 120 snipers. They are dispersed on the roofs of civilian houses that were forcibly occupied by them. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dulaimi further stated that the dispersion of the American snipers in this manner has made it very difficult for the Resistance fighters to move and manoeuvre". Islam Memo, May 10, 2006
:"The Ramadi hospital west of Baghdad claimed that it has just received a further five bodies that were shot dead by the occupation forces. The Islam Memo reporter in the city quoted Dr Fazaa' Muhawish from Ramadi Hospital that among the dead are a woman and two children, all of them killed by sniper bullets. He added that the total number of martyrs that have arrived till now and since the start of operations this morning has reached eleven martyrs, including five women and children". Islam Memo, May 10, 2006
:"Heavy fighting erupted a little while ago between Iraqi Resistance Fighters and the American occupation forces in different parts of Ramadi. Eye witnesses reported to Islam Memo reporter that intense fire exchanges are taking place in the Iskan and Door Al-Mu'alamin districts and the Ramadi Stadium; and that tens of Resistance Fighters began to engage the American Marines in the narrow streets of Ramadi after initially allowing them to disperse throughout the city. American fighters are strafing the railway station housing complex east of Ramadi and the intensity of the fighting is escalating. American snipers managed to kill one Resistance Fighter in the first few minutes of the fighting". Islam Memo, May 10, 2006
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"WE CANNOT KILL ALL THE PEOPLE HERE WHO WANT TO KILL US"
U.S. Marines serving in the Iraqi city of Ramadi are attacked on average five times a day while defending an Iraq government center and battling insurgents in the most violence zone in the country. CBS News correspondent Lara Logan reports.
The Marines of Kilo company are under attack yet again. They're on the roof of the government center, and the enemy has just opened up. Small arms fire came in first. The Marines have returned fire with everything they've got.
From their posts on top of the building, they defend the government center, now the symbol of U.S. efforts to stabilize the most violent region in Iraq, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.
read in full...
DISPLACED IRAQIS 'LIVING LIKE ANIMALS'
The spiralling violence in Iraq has led to sustained "sectarian cleansing" with many families forced to take refuge in squalid camps.
The Red Crescent says more than 100,000 people - equally Sunni and Shia Muslim - living in mixed areas have fled their homes since the February bombing of the Golden mosque in Samarra, a revered Shia shrine, which led to a frenzy of tit-for-tat killings.
Those with nowhere to stay find themselves reduced to tent cities like Shu'lah in Baghdad, where 800 families now live.
Dhia Shalal al-Safi arrived there recently. Just 24 hours earlier he had a house and a job. A Shia Muslim, he worked as a butcher, living with his family in the almost exclusively Sunni city of Fallujah for 16 years.
As dusk fell, there was a knock on his door. Four Sunni Arabs clutching Kalashnikovs stood outside. "Why are you still here Shia?" they said. "All the rest of you scum have gone. You have until morning." His brother had already been killed and many of his friends had already fled.
He, his mother and four brothers piled their most important possessions into a car, drove to the house of a Sunni friend who promised to protect them for the night and then, as the sun rose, drove to Baghdad to find one of the Shia camps.
read in full…
“IT’S LIFE AND DEATH, EVERY DAY”
"Don't let me die! Please, don't let me die," the U.S. soldier said repeatedly as medics carried him to the trauma room.
His glazed eyes focused on an Army chaplain kneeling over him. There was blood everywhere.
A roadside bomb that exploded next to his patrol vehicle sent shards of metal into his body and catapulted him from the vehicle.
He, like so many of the gravely wounded soldiers in Iraq, was rushed to the 10th Combat Support Hospital, where minutes or seconds can mean life or death.
"Am I going to live?" he asked, in a pleading, rhythmic voice.
"Hell, yes, you are," replied Capt. David Steinbruner, one of the doctors.
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
THE SEEDS OF THE IRAQ HOLOCAUST
It is not necessary to construct gas chambers, incinerators, gulags or concentration camps to exterminate millions of human beings. We are seeing this reality today in Iraq, in multiple forms, in degenerate warfare, in countless acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by American forces. In the end, millions have and will die at the hands of America and George W. Bush, some quicker than others, some in silent placidness and some in terrible agony, some by bullets and bombs, some by water-borne disease and malnourishment, some by radiation-filled cancers, mutated deformities and destroyed immune systems. The seeds of the Iraq Holocaust have been firmly planted in the now barren lands of the Fertile Crescent.
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THE NEOCON DREAM THAT GOT AWAY
It's called a conspiracy theory when anyone on the left three-fourths of the political spectrum brings up the Bushites' original plans for a post-Saddam government in Iraq, but Barbara Lerner admits it openly over at the National Review:
Rumsfeld and his allies in Vice President Cheney's office didn't think we needed elaborate, bureaucratic American plans; they thought we needed to empower strong Iraqi leaders right away, and they were right. Our first big mistake was to bypass Rumsfeld and our Iraqi National Congress allies, and turn the occupation over to Paul Bremer . . .
Rumsfeld and his supporters wanted to put the leaders of the INC in full charge of a forceful Iraqi transition government with all the powers necessary to create the pre-conditions for democracy: order and hope.
To that end, they needed to de-Baathify the country aggressively, tame or eliminate violent Shiite militias, repair critical infrastructure, get oil revenue flowing again, and see to it that every peaceful Iraqi citizen got a check for his share of it. That's what secular Shiites like Ahmed Chalabi, secular Sunnis like Mithal al-Alusi, and their Kurdish INC partners wanted to do, and we should have backed them, without ambivalence or apology, with our full military might.
Afterwards, we should have given them whatever additional time they needed to gradually work out and apply a new set of rules for their own Iraqi brand of democracy.
as a "precondition to democracy,"
it's painfully obvious that the "Iraqi brand of democracy"
Chalabi and his friends would have sought to construct would bear little resemblance to anything Americans are familiar with (save perhaps for particular counties in Florida and Ohio).
read in full…
FINAL PHASE OF THE IRAQI WAR
United States Senator Joseph Biden and foreign policy expert Leslie Gelb wrote in The New York Times that dividing the country into three separate entities would be the surest way to end the violence.
Modeled after the 1996 Dayton Peace Accords for the former Yugoslavia, "The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralising it, giving each ethno-religious group -- Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab -- room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests," they wrote.
The timing of this declaration is not at all surprising because it follows a long list, like a recipe for civil war and decimation, which has been employed by foreign occupiers -- and covert allies -- in Iraq.
The first phase was to invade Iraq.
The second phase was propping up Iraqi exiles in power.
The third phase is fomenting civil strife and conflict.
The fourth phase is the division of the country and its oil wealth.
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WEAPONS FOR CIVIL WAR
If you want to start a civil war somewhere like Iraq, the best thing to do is seed it with a lot of weapons. We’re already seen evidence of this with the Berettas being used by the insurgents.
Bush has expressly tied the success of his Presidency to the need to keep enough order and stability in Iraq to allow the phony Iraqi government to function. The appearance that the phony government is functioning has been tied to the success in the war on terror, and the illusion of success in the war on terror is the essence of Bush’s Presidency. (…)
By tying the situation in Iraq to the war on terror and the security of America, Bush has painted himself into a corner. He can’t afford to let Americans see the Iraqi government fail when American troops are withdrawn. Therefore, there can’t be a withdrawal as long as he is President.
On the other hand, the longer American troops stay, the more likely the country is to eventually break up. Ensuring that the insurgency is well armed keeps the necessity for American troops in Iraq, and thus eventually ensures that the country will end up in a full civil war, just as the neocons planned.
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REMEMBERING HOW WE GOT HERE
The United States has been at war in Iraq for 38 months. As of this writing, more than 2,400 U.S. soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians, have died. More than 18,000 U.S. soldiers have been permanently injured. The financial cost for the war is nearing 300 billion dollars, and could ultimately exceed 2 trillion dollars.
How did we get to this place? We didn't arrive in the middle of the bloodiest war since Vietnam by accident, or happenstance. Far from it. Like Hansel and Gretel from the children's fairy tale, the American people were led deeper and deeper into a frighteningly dark forest, to a terrifying place where horrible things happen to little children - and to children not so little (for we are all - every last one of us - children).
But unlike Hansel and Gretel, it is possible for us to retrace our steps, to look back and see clearly the path that brought us here, to hold accountable those whose guidance we trusted and followed. The statements below are the breadcrumbs that mark the trail of deception that led us into war.
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BUSH'S ENDGAME STRATEGY
Two of America's savants have uttered pronouncements about the final days of the presidency of George Walker Bush. In his magisterial statement succinctly titled, "Bush's Thousand Days," Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. pointed out that we have just crossed a significant date, for now less than one thousand days remain of the beleaguered Bush presidency. Schlesinger raises grave issues facing the deeply unpopular president. In his analysis of "The Passion of George W. Bush," Sidney Blumenthal dubbed this darkening period the "endgame." Taken together, these two essays present a disturbing image of a presidency in the throes of decline and desperation. These two essays urge us to consider the likelihood of a political collapse that could lead to disastrous consequences for America and Britain.
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
STEPHEN COLBERT: NEW AMERICAN HERO
Virtually overnight, Stephen Colbert became a hero to countless Americans, following his April 30 performance at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Since then, millions of people have either watched the video or read the transcript of his skewering of both the president and the press corps, and have discussed it avidly. Tens of thousands of people have gone to the website ThankYouStephenColbert.com and written letters of appreciation. Talk about water-cooler chatter; the event crashed internet servers across the land. It truly was one of those moments of media shock and delight.
And then, an odd but revealing thing happened. Some of the chattering class commentators, mainstream media writers and columnists, and Democratic officials didn't get it: Not very funny, rude, not respectful of the president, and so on. Are they kidding? How could they not understand they were witnessing one of the bravest, most subversive performances in memory, which thrilled and gave hope to untold viewers and readers, and will be a huge marker when people look back on the Bush era?
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"A SURPRISE TO THE TERRORISTS"
Until today I'd never heard of this special Douglas Feith plan after September 11th:
Days after 9/11, a senior Pentagon official lamented the lack of good targets in Afghanistan and proposed instead U.S. military attacks in South America or Southeast Asia as "a surprise to the terrorists," according to a footnote in the recent 9/11 Commission Report. The unsigned top-secret memo, which the panel's report said appears to have been written by Defense Under Secretary Douglas Feith, is one of several Pentagon documents uncovered by the commission which advance unorthodox ideas for the war on terror. The memo suggested "hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive"...
Specifically, Feith wanted to bomb the “triple border region” where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet. I think one thing's for sure: that would have been "a surprise." And, not just for Osama bin Laden.
Moreover, if the criteria was just that our response be violent and "a surprise to the terrorists," attacking South America is thinking kind of small. Here's what I would have suggested:
• assassinate the Dalai Lama
• blow up the moon
• have the entire Bush cabinet dress up as Carmen Miranda and then, on national television, commit hara-kari
I hope you might have some ideas of your own.
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REDEEMING THE PROMISE OF NUREMBERG
Every society has sadists. Most keep them under check, few allow them real power. Rumsfeld unleashed them, their worst instincts justified and it went from CENTCOM down to their field. Sadism is a controllable act, like any other act. Sadists can be controlled. But not when the allure of torture seems near, the ability to solve problems through force. Rumsfeld unleashed these people because he thought they had an easy solution to a difficult problem.
But instead, they allows children to be raped and the innocent murdered for no gain. None.
We had embraced what we had fought so hard to end, not because we were inherently evil, but because it was one more easy thing to do for a man who always chosen the easy, wrong path.
I would like to think we will redeem ourselves one day, that the sadists and their bosses will face justice, real justice, in a large court for the world to see, to redeem the promise of what was begun at Nuremberg.
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IF FOREIGN NATIONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL RELIGIOUS FANATICS…
Americans are not supposed to like Ahmadinejad. The media describes him as a Muslim fanatic who "allegedly" wants Israel "wiped off the map". There's a great deal of dispute over this matter since Ahmadinejad's comments do not translate into what his critics say. But, let's assume that the media is correct that he is a religious zealot. What then?
Should we kill him? Should we bomb his country back to the Stone Age; poison the water, destroy the civilian-infrastructure, spread depleted uranium throughout the countryside and kill and torture his people?
If foreign nations have the right to kill religious fanatics, then we'd better start digging bunkers for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson right now.
Ahmadinejad's only crime is that he sits on an ocean of oil just like his friend Hugo Chavez. He's no threat to anyone except, perhaps, the American media which is paid to make up stories demonizing Washington's future targets. The real war criminals are in the White House cooking up their next genocidal intervention.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: " 'Quagmire' is -- I don't do quagmires." -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, July 24, 2003