DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, May 19, 2006
by Nick Anderson (See below "A Seven-Point Plan For An Exit Strategy In Iraq")
Bring ‘em on
: First Lt. Robert Seidel III, 23, died when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by an improvised explosive device, Seidel's mother, Sandy, told The News-Post
Bring ‘em on
: A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. convoy exploded in Dora district, southern Baghdad, seriously wounding one U.S. soldier and damaging his vehicle, the U.S. military said.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Five civilians killed during clashes between police commandos and insurgents in Jihad District, southwestern Baghdad
. Two police commandos were wounded in the attack.
Three Iraqi army soldiers were wounded when their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad.
A police Lieutenant escaped death when a roadside bomb exploded near his home in the eastern New Baghdad district.
Five members of his family were wounded. When police arrived at the scene, a second bomb went off, without causing further injuries.
A roadside bomb went off next to an Iraqi police patrol in the Karrada district of central Baghdad wounding four civilians
Two roadside bombs targeted Iraqi forces in the capital.
In Baghdad, authorities say they found the bullet-riddled bodies of two Iraqis
who had apparently been kidnapped by insurgents.
Iraqi security forces raided apopular Baghdad market Thursday and seized large amounts of military gear ready for sale.
The Freedom Brigade stormed the Haraj market in the Bab al-Sharqi area in central Baghdad, seizing a number of bullet-proofvests.
Gunmen shot deada leading member of a Shi'te Islamist political party in Kerbala.
A member of the provincial council escaped death when gunmen attacked his home
on Thursday night in Babylon province, south of the capital.
Unknown gunmen attacked 10 passengers abroad a bus in the Abu Ghraib district today, including three security men in civilian clothes and seven citizens
. All 10 were severely injured and the militants escaped.
An employee of the northern state-oil company was gunned down in Kirkuk.
(near) Corpse of an unidentified man with gunshot wounds and bearing signs of torture found 10 km (six miles) from Kirkuk.
Clashes erupted between the US forces and Iraqi rebels in Ramadi, killing three civilians.
The clashes also damaged a nearby mosque.
Beheaded, handcuffed body found in Numaniya, 80 miles southwest of Baghdad,
In New Baghdad district, south eastern Baghdad, a bomb planted near one of the walls of the home of an Iraqi police officer blew up
. Five of his family members were wounded.
Four policemen were killed in clashes in Fallujah.
Clashes erupted after insurgents fired mortars at the US-protected seat of local government.
A captive diplomat from the United Arab Emirates has reportedly been set free in Iraq
. The hostage's brother tells The Associated Press kidnappers let the embassy's first secretary go and that he's "on his way to the embassy."
At least 120 shops were damaged when huge fire roared through markets of central southern city of Diwaniya wounding several people.
Plans by a Boston Jesuit school to award Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree are stirring protests by some students and faculty
who say her support for the Iraq war contradicts Catholic teaching.
Boston College theology professor David Hollenbach and Kenneth Himes, the department's chair, issued a petition to the school's president objecting to a planned commencement address by Rice on Monday when she will receive the honorary degree -- a custom for commencement speakers. One faculty member, Steven Almond, resigned in protest.
"We'll be turning our backs during the honorary degree ceremony," said Sasha Westerman, a graduating student at the college who plans to distribute 1,000 protest armbands along with placards reading: "not in our name."
Opposition to Iraq War at 62% in U.S.
U.S. tested new generation microwave weapons on Iraq civilians in 2003
: A new Italian documentary shade more lights about US troops tested new generation of Laser, Microwave weapons on Iraq’s military and civilians back in 2003 in the “battle of the Airport”.
An interview with Iraqi eyewitness reveals the whole truth.
Saad al Falluji: This bus was very crowded, they were going from Hilla to Kifil, to find their families, but before they had arrived at the American checkpoint the villagers said to them “return back, return back”. When the bus tried to return back it was shot by the checkpoint.
Geert Van Morteer: No gunshot wounds?
Saad al Falluji: No, no, I don’t know what it was. We are here 10 surgeons and we couldn’t decide which was the weapon that hit this car.
The documentary is in Italian Language but you can download the Arabic and English transcript, from the “right sidebar”.
NOTES FROM A LOST WAR 2
Second Lt. Will Shields started night patrol for his 2nd Platoon Delta Company with the Baghdad basics: a reminder to speed up instead of slow down if a bomb hits the convoy, and a heads-up on where to stash any victims of killings, sectarian and otherwise.
Shield's patrol the next night started the old-fashioned way: with the sudden snap of a roadside bomb.
Getting out of his Humvee, Shields found one Iraqi dead in a passing open-sided truck, his head flipped onto his back. Four Humvees back from Shield's vehicle, the soldier in the driver's seat nursed a mangled, bleeding foot.
One passenger in the targeted Humvee, 1st Sgt. Larry Philpot, lay sprawled on the ground, eyes closed. At first glance, Shields took him for dead. Another passenger, Staff Sgt. Robert Cortez, limped by, a spear of steel wire jutting out of the flesh of his foot. A brown line rimmed the teeth of the stunned men from the battered Humvee, trademark of the smoke that filled the vehicle.
Shield's men doused the flames, put the pieces of the Iraqi bystander in a body bag, held their fire against another anguished Iraqi rushing to the dead man, called for the Iraqi army, and treated the wounded.
The convoy inched back to its base near Baghdad's airport a little more than an hour after heading out. The 2nd Platoon dropped off their wounded and grabbed a quick meal in the dining hall, frowning in annoyance at the fellow troops around them cheering a boxing match on TV. Then they went back out on patrol, a lightly concussed Philpot among them.
read in full...
AS DEATH STALKS IRAQ, MIDDLE-CLASS EXODUS BEGINS
Deaths run like water through the life of the Bahjat family. Four neighbors. A barber. Three grocers. Two men who ran a currency exchange shop.
But when six armed men stormed into their sons' primary school this month, shot a guard dead, and left fliers ordering it to close, Assad Bahjat knew it was time to leave.
"The main thing now is to just get out of Iraq," said Mr. Bahjat, standing in a room heaped with suitcases and bedroom furniture in eastern Baghdad.
read in full…
IRAQ WAR VETS GO HOMELESS
When the single mother [Sgt. Vanessa Gamboa, supply specialist]
was discharged in April, after her second tour in Iraq, she was 24 and had little money and no place to live. She slept in her son's day-care center.
Gamboa is part of a small but growing trend among U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- homelessness.
On any given night the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps 200 to 250 of them, and more go uncounted. They are among nearly 200,000 homeless veterans in America, largely from the Vietnam War.
Advocates say the number of homeless veterans is certain to grow, just as it did in the years following the Vietnam and Gulf wars, as a consequence of the stresses of war and inadequate job training.
read in full…
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
BRITAIN'S MESOPOTAMIAN MESS REVISITED
Basra, a predominantly Shi'ite city, has been won over from the British by the rebel-cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The young rebel gained the minds and hearts of the inhabitants of Basra when he began his rebellion against the Americans, and then-prime minister Iyad Allawi, in 2004. The people of Basra originally welcomed the British as liberators, but the expression on everybody's face was: "Thank you for what you did and for helping us get rid of Saddam. Now, when are you leaving?"
Muqtada found an excited crowd willing to listen to his anti-Anglo-American rhetoric in 2004-05 and was able to recruit members of the British-trained Iraqi police force in Basra into his Mehdi Army, where they now serve as undercover agents for Muqtada. By day, they officially patrol the streets and gather information about logistics, and by night, they don the costume of the Mehdi Army and pick fights with traditional enemies of Muqtada.
read in full…
A SEVEN-POINT PLAN FOR AN EXIT STRATEGY IN IRAQ
1) A timetable for the complete withdrawal of American and British forces must be announced. I envision the following procedure, but suitable fine-tuning can be applied by all the people involved.
A) A ceasefire should be offered by the Occupying side to representatives of both the Sunni insurgency and the Shiite community. These representatives would be guaranteed safe passage, to any meetings. The individual insurgency groups would designate who would attend. At this meeting a written document declaring a one-month ceasefire, witnessed by a United Nations authority, will be fashioned and eventually signed. This document will be released in full, to all Iraqi newspapers, the foreign press, and the Internet.
B) US and British command will make public its withdrawal, within sixth-months of 80 % of their troops.
C) Every month, a team of United Nations observers will verify the effectiveness of the ceasefire. All incidences on both sides will be reported.
D) Combined representative armed forces of both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations that agreed to the cease fire will protect the Iraqi people from actions by terrorist cells.
E) Combined representative armed forces from both the Occupying nations and the insurgency organizations will begin creating a new military and police force. Those who served, without extenuating circumstances, in the previous Iraqi military or police, will be given the first option to serve.
F) After the second month of the ceasefire, and thereafter, in increments of 10-20% ,a total of 80% will be withdrawn, to enclaves in Qatar and Bahrain. The governments of these countries will work out a temporary land-lease housing arrangement for these troops. During the time the troops will be in these countries they will not stand down, and can be re-activated in the theater, if the chain of the command still in Iraq, the newly formed Iraqi military, the leaders of the insurgency, and two international ombudsman (one from the Arab League, one from the United Nations), as a majority, deem it necessary.
G) One-half of those troops in enclaves will leave three-months after they arrive, for the United States or other locations, not including Iraq.
H) The other half of the troops in enclaves will leave after six-months.
I) The remaining 20 % of the Occupying troops will, during this six month interval, be used as peace-keepers, and will work with all the designated organizations, to aid in reconstruction and nation-building.
J) After four months they will be moved to enclaves in the above mentioned countries. They will remain, still active, for two month, until their return to the States, Britain and the other involved nations.
read in full…
Ultimately the failure at Al Fatah [an attempt to reestablish an oil pipeline damaged early in the war by an American air attack on a bridge across the Tigris River over which it traveled]
is emblematic of the larger deconstruction of Iraq. Except when it comes to the American embassy (whose construction is, miraculously, on schedule), the pattern has been approximately the same wherever you look: First, the American military fatally damaged existing, already weakened facilities and support systems. Second, inadequate reconstruction was proposed, and given to large, foreign (usually American) corporations that knew next to nothing about local conditions (and generally cared less). Third, reconstruction itself was sabotaged by the contractors' programmatic inefficiency and corruption, compounded by damage from the ongoing guerrilla war. Fourth, the money ran out, while the cost of finishing projects escalated well beyond original projections. Finally, ongoing destruction promises to erode further an already hopelessly compromised system. (…)
The image of the Bush administration in Iraq as a bumbling giant, overwhelmed by the destructive forces within Iraqi society, is a pernicious misrepresentation. A close look at the facts on the ground demonstrates that the American occupation itself has been the primary destructive force in Iraq as well as the direct or ultimate source of the bulk of the violence; that the American military, in its zealous pursuit of the resistance, still generates much destruction; and that American reconstruction efforts have -- through greed, corruption, and incompetence -- only deepened the infrastructural crisis.
The American presence in Iraq continues to be a force for deconstruction.
read in full…
>> BEYOND IRAQ
Guantanamo Prison Guards, Inmates Clash
: Prisoners wielding improvised weapons clashed with guards trying to stop a detainee from committing suicide at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the military said Friday.
The fight occurred Thursday in a medium-security section of the camp as guards were responding to the fourth attempted suicide that day at the detention center on the U.S. Navy base, Cmdr. Robert Durand said.
U.S. should close Guantanamo prison,
and avoid using secret detention facilities in the war on terror, the U.N. panel that monitors compliance with the world's anti-torture treaty said Friday.
AXIS OF EVIL CENTRED ON WASHINGTON
Freedom and democracy? Or torture and murder? What does the United States of America stand for today? After Abu Ghraib, shocking revelations reach us of Taleban bodies being burnt and placed facing Mecca and Saddam Hussein being subjected to torture.
The United States of America of George W. Bush makes a mockery of his country's culture, history and Constitution. Far from being the land of the free, the land where dreams come true, George Bush's Washington is the Great American Nightmare. With its foreign policy dictated by a clique of conservative corporate elitists, the procedure followed by Washington today is one of bullying, belligerence, deception, deceit, lies, mass murder, criminal negligence, criminal and wanton destruction of civilian structures with military hardware, war crimes and increasingly, torture.
read in full…
IMPEACHMENT IS TOO GOOD FOR BUSH
There's talk of impeachment making the rounds these days ... and it's not just partisan hyperbole.
As Dave Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky explain in their new book, "The Case for Impeachment," the legal argument for removing George W. Bush from office is clear, present, and urgent.
However, for those seeking peace and justice, there are two reasons why impeachment should only be judged as a means to an end:
1. Impeachment is too good for him Sure, the planet would breathe a sigh of relief should Dubya get the boot, but why let him off the hook so easily? As Lindorff and Olshansky state: "The evidence of ... constitutional transgressions, violations of federal and international law, abuse of power, and criminal negligence as chief executive ... are so blatant one might think conviction would be a foregone conclusion."
Well then, why stop there? "The call for impeachment trivializes the crimes," declares journalist Rosemarie Jackowski. "Where is the demand for war crimes trials?"
read in full…
BUSH IS CERTIFIABLE
Bush has become inflated with an archetype of the collective unconscious, which is an expression of madness. He has become identified with one side, the light, of an inherently two-sided polarity, and projects out the other, dark side, which he then tries to destroy. By shadow projecting in this manner, Bush has become possessed by the very evil he is projecting outside of himself.
This is to fall under the spell of the Devil, who is rightly called “the deceiver.” A clearer case of madness is hard to imagine. Jung describes such a situation by saying it is an “…overwhelming manifestation of the “blond beast” [of prey, a figure popularized by Nietzsche], which seizes the unsuspecting soul with nameless shudderings. The seizure transforms him into a hero or godlike being, a superhuman entity. He rightly feels himself “six thousand feet beyond good and evil.”
read in full…
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "When the full scope of America's defeat in the Wars of Mass Destruction ignited by Iraq becomes apparent, the political result is likely to go far beyond any election (…) We are likely to see that interesting time known by historians as 'change of dynasty,' where a defective and corrupt Establishment is all swept away." -- William S. Lind