Friday, May 26, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, May 26, 2006 Photo: A woman screaming that she has lost three sons arrives at al-Kindi hospital after a roadside bomb placed under a car exploded in an outdoor market in the Nahda area of Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 31, according to police, in Baghdad, Iraq Friday, May 26, 2006. The blast occurred at a time when the market - where old furniture, household goods and appliances are sold - would have been especially busy during the start of the Islamic weekend. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) Bring ém on: Two Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers were killed at approximately 2 p.m. May 25 when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad. (CENTCOM) Bring 'em on: A U.S. Marine was killed on Tuesday in combat in Anbar province, the U.S. military said. Bring 'em on: A Knoxville soldier, Army Pfc. Class Caleb Lufkin, died Thursday while under treatment for severe wounds he suffered early this month from a roadside bomb in Iraq, family members said. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: A Katyusha rocket struck destroying a building in the city-center of Baghdad, Iraq wounding four people. A car bomb exploded in a public market in in the Nahdha district of Baghdad, killing at least ten people and wounding 30. A bomb went off in the southern Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Bayaa wounding 18 people. A roadside bomb missed a U-S convoy in Baghdad, but injured three Iraqis on a minibus. Iraqi police found the bodies of two men shot dead in Dora district in southern Baghdad. The bodies where handcuffed, blindfolded and shot dead and were left near a farm in the area. Police found three bodies in western Baghdad with bullet wounds and showing signs of torture. In the upscale neighborhood of Mansour, a roadside bomb exploded near the motorcade of Ahmed al-Chalabi, a former deputy prime minister who is currently head of the De-Baathification committee. Chalabi was not injured. The coach of the Iraq tennis team and two players have been shot dead by armed gunmen in the Saidiya district of Baghdad, the Iraqi Olympic Committee chief said today. According to eye witnesses, the three men were killed because they were wearing shorts. Baqubah: Armed men wearing Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped nine civilians from their houses Thursday night. Ali al-Khayam, the spokesman of the Joint Coordination Center in Diyala Province, said four of the kidnapped were security guards at the Diyala TV network, a TV and radio station in the province. The fifth was a translator for the US forces while the other four were government employees. Gunmen execute two policemen held with them before being released, one of the hostages said. Tikrit: U.S. soldiers brought 14 bullet-riddled bodies, including those of two children, to the morgue in Tikrit. It was unclear who had killed them. Maqdadiya: Four unidentified corpses bearing fatal bullet wounds were found in different parts of al Maqdadiya. Muqdadiya: Gunmen stormed a wedding party and abducted the groom, his uncle and cousin and a guest at the party and all were found the next day beheaded near Muqdadiya, 90 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said on Friday. Basra: A Sunni Imam and a bodyguard were killed by gunmen in a drive-by shooting as they travelled to their mosque. British forces in southern Iraq have come under bomb, mortar, rocket and sniper attack almost twice in the Basra area a day since January, losing 12 dead to hostile fire, according to figures seen by The Herald. Ten corpses bearing fatal bullet wounds were found in the Al Moqal district of Basra. The corpses were discovered with their hands bound and bore evidence of torture along with fatal bullet wounds to their heads. Khour Al-Emmaya inlet: A fire broke out in an oil supply pipeline at a docking station for oil tankers north of the Arabian Gulf. Fire fighters are still fighting blazes in Khour Al-Emmaya inlet, as well as the oil leakage. A fire that had been burning aboard one of Iraq's two oil terminals, the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT), May 26 has burned itself out. No U.S. personnel were injured in the fire. Several Iraqi personnel were injured in the fire. Kirkuk: A roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in the south ofKirkuk, killing one policeman and wounding four. Sinjar: Police reported the explosion of a bomb left in a sack in a liquor shop in Sinjar, 125 miles west of Mosul. The shop's owner was killed and two customers were wounded. Ramadi: (Yesterday) Four policemen who were shot dead by insurgents in Ramadi. The policemen were heading to their homes when they were ambushed by gunmen on a little travelled farm road and killed. US forces shot dead three firefighters in Ramadi. A security source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the firefighters were killed as they extinguished blazing homes and vehicles that had caught fire following armed clashes between insurgents and US forces in the al Aziziya district of Ramadi. >> NEWS Sunni leaders order closure of all Sunni mosques in the southern city of Basra and urged preachers not to hold Friday prayers to protest the killing of a Sunni cleric today. Iraq's new government risks being held to ransom by a dissident Shi'ite faction using its local clout in Basra to hobble vital oil exports, Iraqi officials and senior political sources said on Friday. They warned that the locally powerful Fadhila party was threatening to have members in the oil industry stage a go-slow to halt exports through the key southern oil port if it did not win the concessions it wanted from Baghdad. Iran warns it will retaliate in the event of a US strike, during the highest level visit of an Iranian official to neighboring Iraq since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won power in Tehran last summer. "In the event that America launches a strike from any place, Iran will retaliate by targeting that place," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told journalists in Baghdad after expressing his support for Iraq's new government. He confirmed his country's decision not to hold direct talks with the United States over the situation in Iraq, while saying he thought "the risks of a confrontation are minimal." "I don't think the United States is in a position to create a new crisis for US taxpayers," Mottaki said Friday The assassination of Tony Blair by a suicide bomber would be morally justified as revenge for the War in Iraq, according to George Galloway. The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said that such an attack would be "morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Mr Blair did". He was speaking during an interview for GQ magazine with Piers Morgan, the former Daily Mirror Editor. Speaking about an assassination attempt, Mr Galloway said: "I am not calling for it but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7." >> REPORTS Security forces will be deployed in all major cities with the aim of protecting the more than five million students bracing to take their final exams, officials from the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday. "Our ministry is cooperating with the ministries of interior and defence in order to protect exam centres, mainly in Baghdad's more restive areas," said Minister of Education, Dr Khudier al-Khuza'i, in his first ministry press conference. "Every student has the right to take his or her exams in a safety." (…) According to a report about threats against schools and students killed issued on 28 February by the education ministry, 64 Iraqi schoolchildren have been killed by bombs, rockets, mortar shells and machine-gun fire between last November and February. At least 169 teachers and 84 other school employees have been killed in the same period. Additionally, attacks and frequent threats have resulted in the intermittent closing of hundreds of schools, further disrupting the education of thousands of children. >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS OIL FOR OCCUPATION, BUT NONE FOR IRAQIS The ongoing war in Iraq will likely be won or lost based on the availability of one commodity: motor fuel. For the moment, the U.S. military has all the fuel it needs--about three million gallons per day - to continue prosecuting the war in Iraq. The same cannot be said for Iraqi civilians. Indeed, the supply of motor fuel in Iraq remains highly precarious. Evidence of that can be found by looking at the case of Lloyd-Owen International, a small American company which provides security for hundreds of gasoline tanker trucks hauling fuel from Kuwait into Iraq. For the past month, Lloyd-Owen has been facing a May 25 deadline. Effective today, according to the U.S. military, Lloyd-Owen was to be prevented from moving its fleet of tankers through a military checkpoint near Safwan on the Iraq-Kuwait border. Lloyd-Owen provides security for transporters who haul about 6 million liters of fuel per day to various locations in southern Iraq. That fuel is then distributed to service stations in the region for use by civilians. Lloyd-Owen's trucks were to be barred from using the checkpoint under a new policy which said that only trucks working under contracts with the U.S. military will be allowed to use the military checkpoint. Lloyd-Owen's contract is with Iraq's Oil Marketing Company, known as SOMO, which has been buying fuel from the Kuwait Petroleum Company in order to meet domestic demand. Thus, even though Lloyd-Owen's work is directly related to the rebuilding and stabilization efforts in Iraq, its trucks would not be issued special badges by the U.S. military. And without those badges, their trucks would not be allowed to use the checkpoint. On May 11, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) intervened on behalf of Lloyd-Owen and sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking him to look into the matter. Waxman wrote that "in light of the potential consequences of a fuel shortage in Iraq, I would like an explanation for the new policy of the Defense Department." Waxman's office said they got a response from Rumsfeld's office but that it was "non-substantive." Then, about mid-day yesterday, May 24, just a few hours before the deadline, the Army suddenly rescinded its policy, and determined that Lloyd-Owen's trucks could use the military checkpoint until a "to be determined date." read in full... THE WAR ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN The tragedy of post-colonial Iraq since the return of Western armies in 1990 illustrates the perversion of humanitarian values, scientific approaches and rational risk assessment. The bottom-line parameter in any discussion about social policy is the human cost. According to the latest, Web-accessible UN Population Division data and UNICEF data, the "under-5 infant deaths per 1,000 births" in oil-rich Iraq versus impoverished Syria were 200 vs 170 (1953), 50 vs 44 (1990) and 125 vs 16 (sixteen) (2004) i.e. infant mortality decreased enormously under the dictator Saddam Hussein but increased hugely after 1990 due to Western intervention. The post-1990 under-5 infant mortality in Iraq under war-criminal UK-US sanctions, bombs and occupation now totals 1.6 million and the post-1990 excess deaths (i.e. avoidable deaths) now total 2.2 million. The 1990-2003 under-5 infant mortality and excess mortality in Iraq under sanctions and bombing totalled 1.2 million and 1.7 million, respectively; the 2003-2006 figures for post-invasion Occupied Iraq are 0.4 million and 0.5 million, respectively. In comparison, the post-invasion under-5 infant mortality and excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan now total 1.4 million and 1.8 million, respectively. These tragedies could have been averted by commitment by the responsible Western democracies to the scholarly and scientific ethos of truth, reason, sensible communication and application of the scientific method. Everyone is now familiar with the numerous, outrageous lies that preceded the illegal Coalition war on Iraq in 2003. However relatively few are familiar with the above mortality statistics - while deriving from authoritative, publicly-accessible UN and UNICEF reports just a click away on the Web, this crucial information is comprehensively ignored by Mainstream Media in a continuing process of racism, lying by omission and holocaust-denial. The horrendous under-5 infant mortality in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan (1,300 infants dying every day, 0.5 million infants dying each year and with 90% of these deaths avoidable) is occurring because of the non-provision by the Occupying UK-US-led Coalition of the life-preserving requisites demanded unequivocally of Occupiers by the Geneva Conventions. Indeed these horrendous crimes constitute "passive genocide" and are the subject of formal complaints to the International Criminal Court. The appalling, continuing, avoidable mass mortality of infants in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories is a gross violation of the fundamental human behavioral imperative of respect for Mother and Child and reveals the semantically-absurd War on Terror as in actuality a War on Women and Children. read in full... UNDERMISINTERPRETATING "BRING 'EM ON" During the Bush/Blair press conference, the former admitted that saying "bring them on" may have been, you know, undermisinterpretated in certain parts of the world. "I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know." That's true: since July 2003 the sophistication of his discourse has astonished us all. Of course earlier, he'd once again praised Maliki's declaration that he would use "maximum force" against the insurgents. Actually, I don't have that much of a fix on Maliki yet, but he does seem to be a bit of a blowhard. Indeed, when asked to respond to Maliki's claim that his regime would be in charge of Iraqi security within 18 months, Bush made his usual stock comment that "our commanders on the ground will make that decision" and "the conditions on the ground will make the decision" and politics won't make the decision. Of course he was on autopilot, but he accidentally suggested that Maliki a) has nothing to do with the decision, b) is just engaging in politics. read in full... WHEN WILL US CRIMES IN IRAQ END?
As many as seven Marines are accused of dragging an innocent Iraqi man from his home in April, killing him in cold blood and then trying to cover up the crime, NBC News has learned. Further, military officials tell NBC that at least one of the Marines has reportedly confessed in the killing, saying they find the allegations especially disturbing because the case appears to have been a premeditated killing and not carried out in the heat of combat.
No! Imagine my shock.
The alleged incident occurred April 26 in the town of Hamandiyah. The Marines are accused of dragging the innocent man from his home, shooting him to death, then planting an AK-47 rifle and a shovel next to his body, apparently to make it appear the man had been burying an IED, one of the roadside bombs that have been so deadly to U.S. forces in Iraq.
Oh, wait, you mean he might not be an insurgent ... so, when the US lists the deaths of dozens of insurgents is it ... well, gosh, could it be those were innocent civilians. Planting? Planting. Planting? Yes, planting. But we had heard these accusations before only to be called liars, Islamofascists, yada, yada, yada by the usual suspects. read in full... DINING WITH TERRORISTS "How would you feel if Iraqi soldiers were ambling through your streets? And let's say they even once in a while broke into your homes to arrest someone dear to you? If I were to tell you that they have come to Italy to give you a better life, would you joyfully welcome their presence?" Phil Rees, BBC correspondent for 17 years in Asia and in the Middle East, was at the Turin Book Fair (4-8 May), to present his first book, Dining with Terrorists, an incredible voyage on the trail of the world's most wanted men, trying to find answers to a question that has never been so timely: "Who is a terrorist?" (...) Were you able to find a definition of terrorist? The book is in the search of a definition of this word. The best one for me still is that of Professor Rubinstein, from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution of the George Mason University in Virginia: terrorism is simply the violence that you don't like. In the Middle East, Bush is a terrorist to the people who live there. The UN has not found any definition of this word. Are we all potential terrorists? Yes. Terrorists don't come from Mars, there are conditions that push these persons to do certain things: even Tony Blair's wife, if she was born in Gaza, could become a kamikaze. Don't you run the risk, with this publication, to be accused of justifying terrorism? I wouldn't use the term "justification". The purpose of my book is to invite readers to put themselves in other people's shoes. The Muslims of the entire world feel victimised and threatened by the dominant economic and military power of the West. There are millions who believe that their vision of the world is not guaranteed the dignity or a satisfying space of development next to those of Western civilisation. Any type of violence should have the same checks made on it: no one has the right to occupy another nation. read in full… BUSH'S REVENGE ON THE NATIONAL GUARD Remember that horror movie back in 1976 where a girl who was humiliated and made fun of comes back to seek revenge? Well, we got an update on that plot. And George W. Bush is now playing the role of Carrie. Here's the new script: Back in 1968-73, Bush served in the Texas National Guard where he was teased and humiliated when he scored 25% on his pilot aptitude test and was suspended and grounded from flying duty. Well, Carrie, er, I mean George waited a long freaking time to get his revenge on the National Guard -- BUT HE DID. America's National Guard is now almost completely destroyed after being sent to Iraq with unprotected Humvees and inadequate body armor. But was that revenge enough? No. George went further and administered the coup de grace. This week he assigned the remaining tattered remnants of the National Guard -- who had somehow managed to survive being butchered in Iraq, cut off economically at home and strangled in New Orleans by FEMA -- to the ultimate humiliation: Border patrol. And if the National Guard somehow manages to survive trudging through the Arizona desert in 140-degree heat while leaving their home states unprotected (again), I'm 100% sure that Bush will figure out some other humiliating and/or deadly revenge to finally finish them off. Trust me. Carrie will not rest until there is NOTHING left of the National Guard. link… THE ISSUE OF DEPLETED URANIUM A couple of years ago an international tribunal that met in Japan, made up of five judges - all professors of international law - concluded that President Bush was guilty of war crimes for indiscriminately attacking civilians in the Afghan war. Robert Akroyd, one of the judges and a former head of legal studies at Aston University in Britain noted the U.S. military's use of "indiscriminate weapons such as the Daisy Cutter, cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells," According to the Japan Times,
Civilians and experts who have supported the tribunal movement agreed to work for creation of an international treaty that would prohibit the production, stockpile and use of depleted uranium rounds, like the Ottawa process that succeeded in 1997 in outlawing antipersonnel land mines.
In what he terms a public health disaster for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, Doug Westerman points out that:
The Japanese began studying DU effects in the southern Iraq in the summer of 2003. They had a Geiger counter which they watched go off the scale on many occasions. During their visit,a local hospital was treating upwards of 600 children per day, many of which suffered symptoms of internal poisoning by radiation.
Although there are other concerns now, in the aftermath of the war this subject is inevitably going to come to the fore. We need to bring this subject out into the open now, especially given the deliberate attempt by US military authorities to suppress the issue altogether. Westerman adds that:
Not only are we poisoning the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are making a concerted effort to keep out specialists from other countries who can help. The U.S. Military doesn't want the rest of the world to find out what we have done.
read in full: >> BEYOND IRAQ An Afghan human rights group said Friday an estimated 34 civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike on a southern village this week - far higher than the official toll. A WARBOT LETS THE TRUTH SLIP Commenting on the Iranian missile test is The Strata-Sphere (cute, huh?):
I seriously doubt Iran is so crazy they would launch missiles at US or Israeli targets (though I would not bet $1 on that premise), but the missiles do represent a very tough defense against military action by the West, whether it is pre-emptive or reactive. This is the problem with a nuclear armed Iran. If one of their bombs makes it to a target on the back of a suicide bomber, then attempting to deliver a response becomes a more complex problem.
And there you have it: Iran is bad, and bad countries are not entitled to self-defense. It's not about Iran actually posing a threat to the U.S. or even Israel - unless, as he ludicrously suggests, they're going to take us down one backpack bomber at a time, while we fume and curse those darn medium-range missiles that prevent any counterattack. Whatever the moral merits of the "bad people have no right to self-defense" argument may be, it's geopolitical fantasy. No government in the world is going to say, "Yes, you're right, we do suck. Feel free to bomb us without fear of retaliation." To think that they would, or that a constant stream of threats will enhance our own security, is to see the world through the eyes of a spoiled child. read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We're locked into a bogged-down problem not dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam. The longer we stay, the more problems we're going to have." -- U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel


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