Monday, May 22, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, May 22, 2006 Photo: Iraqis standing on a bridge look down as one of them pours petrol onto a burning British military vehicle after an attack which wounded two British soldiers in Basra, Iraq. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani) Bring 'em on: A U.S. Marine was killed in action in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province, the U.S. Command said Monday. Bring 'em on: Three female UK soldiers were injured when the small British camp in Maysan was pounded by 42 mortars and rockets in the most violent and concerted attack yet.
British forces have endured 41 separate attacks and the deaths of seven colleagues in just over a fortnight.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: Body of a police captain who had been shot in the head found in the Aziziya area, south of Baghdad. Nine unidentified bodies found in various locations around the capital in the past 24 hours. All the victims had been shot in the head and the bodies showed signs of torture. A car bomb exploded near a road in northern Baghdad around noon causing no casualties. A car bomb went off in a crowded street in southeastern Baghdad, killing six civilians and wounding three. A car bomb went off near a market and health clinic in the capital's New Baghdad district killing three people and wounding 12. Gunmen killed a former Brigadier General in western Baghdad. Two of his relatives were also killed. Roadside bomb missed a police patrol in eastern Baghdad Baladiyat's neighborhood, wounding two civilians. A department head in the youth and sports ministry was shot dead by armed men while on his way to work in south Baghdad. An unnamed education ministry official was killed in the southwest of the capital. Ten civilians were killed in the central Baghdad neighbourhood of al-Keradah when a roadside bomb, apparently targeting a passing US patrol, detonated. No further details were available. Baqubah: In Baquba five civilians and a police officer were reported killed in separate attacks. Moqtadiyah: Three people were kidnapped in Moqtadiyah. Mahmudiya: Unidentified “insurgents” killed three Iraqi civilians and wounded another four after firing mortar rounds which missed their target and hit a house instead. The attack took place at Mahmudiya, 35 kilometres south of Baghdad. Muqdadiya: Two men were killed by gunmen in a shop in Muqdadiya, 90 km northeast of Baghdad. Samarra: Gunmen killed a police colonel in Samarra, north of Baghdad. Musayyib: Four Iraqi police were killed when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Musayyib, about 70 km south of Baghdad. Balad: Two Iraqi army soldiers, who were guarding an oil pipeline, were shot dead by armed men in two vehicles near the town of Balad. Five bodies were taken to hospital in Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, after clashes with insurgents that erupted in the nearby town of Dhuluiya. Jbela: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed three people and wounded six in the town of Jbela, 65 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad. Basra: Mortar attack on the Basra airport base. Hawija: One policeman died in hospital after gunmen shot at him in central Hawija, 70 km southwest of Kirkuk. Kirkuk: University student arrested by the Iraqi police in Kirkuk, "for carrying out terrorist operations in the city". Attacks on oil infrastructure: (updated) May 7 - attack on an oil pipeline near Mussayab. May 10 - attack on an oil pipeline pipeline carrying oil from Daura refinery to Mussayab power station. May 15 - attack on pipeline in the Daura refinery. >> NEWS Blair visits Green Zone to meet new puppet Iraq PM Guards grabbed Saddam Hussein's only female defense attorney and pulled her from the courtroom Monday, and the chief judge shouted down the deposed Iraqi leader — a raucous start to a new session of his trial. Man detained for attempting to poison Iraqi brigadier general French government denies paying USD 25 million in ransoms for the release of three journalists taken hostage in Iraq between 2004 and 2005. >> REPORTS Blair and Bush will announce they are to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq at a summit in Washington as early as this week, RAW STORY has learned. The process has already been carefully choreographed in an attempt to bolster the popularity of both Bush and Blair who have suffered domestically for their handling of the war. The scope of the phased withdrawal, which will see the 133,000 US force levels cut to around 100,000 by the end of the year and British numbers almost halved, has already been agreed, one senior defence source said. Number of U.S. soldiers who took their own lives increased last year to the highest total since 1993, despite a growing effort by the Army to detect problems and prevent suicides. MORE ABOUT HOME OCCUPATION IN RAMADI During the time of our being in the dark hot room, we heard sound of single shots, the sounds coming from above the house-seems like on the roof. I asked the Iraqi soldiers about these sounds of shooting. They told me that there is some American snipers staying on the roof of my house. Oh my! They used my house as a snipers base, to kill the people. This is what happened many times for the last year. They will shoot all the people who are leaving their house in the early morning, yes they will. We kept silenct and some of us tried to sleep but nobody can-it is too hot and became wet, in addition to difficulty breathing. Maybe because the air cant be recycled, the room is completely closed, the window and door. I felt hungry and thirsty...oh it is not fair...hungry and thirsty inside my own house... And I felt bad because my house will be a killing tool, it is very criminal for me... read in full... IRAQ: THE CONTINUOUS WAR a film by Ashwin Raman This German documentary details the work that American troops are actively involved in Iraq as a reporter embedded with them. It details there views and opinions as to the why the war is being waged and how the war is being fought on the ground. See the video… >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS STOP THE GENOCIDE AND ABUSE BY THE BADER BRIGADE We, the undersigned, petition the United Nations, its Security Council, Heads of States, and all International Organizations to declare that the Genocide and abuse of the Iraqi people (Sunni and some of Shia) and in particular the Arab Sunnis, by the Bader Brigade Militia and the Iraqi Minister of Interior (Beyan Jaber Soulak ( and the chief of Bader Militia (Hadi Al Ameri) and his team firmly constitutes a Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and we demand that proper legal action be taken against the perpetrators of these crimes. Furthermore, we insist that these crimes which have reached the terrifying extent of randomly executing around a hundred of innocent Iraqi Sunni Arab civilians each day after being arrested by the forces of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior at their homes or during while praying at their Mosques only to discover their bodies a few days later dead with marks of widespread torture and bullets in their heads. Integrating Bader Militia in army and police forces, gave it legalization to carry it's terrorist act against Iraqi people without any obstacle. Bader Militia involved in assassinating Iraqi academics, Iraqi Doctors, Iraqi writers, Religion men, Iraqi Artist, Iraqi Pilots and officers who did there duty as officers in Army during Iraqi-Iran war, as Bader Militia sectarian organization with a link to the Iranian Intelligent organization. Also it involved in the operations of eviction of Sunni and Shia Muslims from there homes, in order to initiate the civil war and divided Iraq. -- The International Islamic Human Right Association in Iraq (IHRAS) read in full... THE "DEAL GOVERNMENT" FIASCO AND IRAQ'S FUTURE Much more interesting, and telling, however, is the fact that all these "patriots" were quarreling on three main ministries: Oil, Defense, and (especially) Interior. No one fought for the ministry of health, education, transportation, or electricity....etc, those ministries which are in shambles and which are badly needed by the Iraqis, but not seen as important enough for the contesters. This does not mean that the three most wanted ministries above are in a better condition, on the contrary, they are eaten up by corruption and mismanagement according to high officials in the government them selves*, but these are the "sovereignty" posts. It is widely understood by the Iraqi politicians now, that those who "own" the interior ministry, for example, own Iraq and its future. The Shiite United Coalition leader, Al- Hakeem, built his center-south federal region project on a fallacy that the (Shiite Iraq) extends from Samarra (north center) to Faw port on the Gulf. Large parts of Baghdad, Anbar, and Diyala are supposed to be parts of the "Shiite Iraq". This "theory" explains the brutal sectarian cleansing in the Baghdad suburbs in all geographical directions. It also sheds good light on the Samarra explosions enigma which ignited the sectarian riot. It is very important for the Shiite to keep the Interior Ministry now to "finish" the job of liberating the Shiite areas from the Sunni occupation with the help of the Americans. (…) What makes all this fiasco looks even worse, whether Maliky succeeded in making this deal government work or not, is that the Iraqi government, whatever it is, actually has no authority at all, less of control on any thing: security, resources, corruption, armed militias, death squads, the occupation atrocities, the Turkish and Iranian military threats, and the promised constitution revision, not to mention any thing about the country that collapsed, in all the senses of the word. The failure the new prime minister has shown so far, the huge problems of just putting a government together, and the conflicts of interests and loyalties, do not light up any corner in the dark tunnel this nation is going through, as far as the occupation is there. read in full... FUBAR IN IRAQ Today's New York Times story about the Bush administration's Keystone Kops approach to training police in Iraq might as well be an encyclopedia entry for "FUBAR." Three different groups wrote plans that nobody on the ground ever heard of; the number of trainers was laughably minuscule to start with and got even more laughable over time; and nobody really seemed to care much because they didn't figure we'd be staying around for long anyway. It's the usual story with this gang. You have to read the whole thing to really get a sense of what was going on, but in the meantime here's a small aside. According to Jay Garner, a plan to dispatch 6,000 police officers to Iraq was opposed by Frank Miller, a former NSC official who coordinated the American effort to govern Iraq. Is that true?
Mr. Miller, who left the government last year, confirmed his opposition. He said the assessment by the C.I.A. led administration officials to believe that Iraq's police were capable of maintaining order. Douglas J. Feith, then the Defense Department's under secretary for policy, said in an interview that the C.I.A.'s prewar assessment deemed Iraq's police professional, an appraisal that events proved "fundamentally wrong." But Paul Gimigliano, a spokesman for the C.I.A., said the agency's assessment warned otherwise. "We had no reliable information on individual officers or police units," he said. The "C.I.A.'s written assessment did not judge that the Iraqi police could keep order after the war. In fact, the assessment talked in terms of creating a new force." A copy of the document, which is classified, could not be obtained.
If Doug Feith says it, it's a pretty good bet that exactly the opposite is the case. Still, why is this report classified? Surely this would be one of those cases that Scott McClellan told us about in which declassification would be in the public interest? Right? read in full… SPENDING OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY TO FINANCE A WAR What's happened to the rebuilding of Iraqi society, and real governance based on transparency and accountability? In the few weeks before Bremer left Iraq, the CPA handed out more than $3 billion in new contracts to be paid for with Iraqi funds and managed by the US embassy in Baghdad. The CPA inspector general, now called the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, has just released an audit report on the way the embassy has dealt with that responsibility. The auditors reviewed the files of 225 contracts totalling $327 million to see if the embassy 'could identify the current value of paid and unpaid contract obligations'. It couldn't. 'Our review showed that financial records . . . understated payments made by $108,255,875' and 'overstated unpaid obligations by $119,361,286'. The auditors also reviewed the paperwork for a further 300 contracts worth $332.9 million. 'For 198 of 300 contracts, documentation was not available . . . to indicate that contract execution was monitored for performance and payment . . . Files did not contain evidence that goods and services had been received for 154 contracts, that invoices had been submitted for 169 contracts, or that payments had been made for 144 contracts.' Clearly the Americans see no need to account for spending the Iraqis' national income now any more than they did when Bremer was in charge. Neither the embassy chief of mission nor the US military commander replied to the auditors' invitation to comment. Instead, the US army contracting commander lamely pointed out that 'the peaceful conditions envisioned in the early planning continue to elude the reconstruction efforts.' This is a remarkable understatement. It's also an admission that Americans can't be expected to do their sums when they are spending other people's money to finance a war. read in full... THE IMF IN IRAQ: THE SECOND INVASION Last December the US-backed Iraqi government agreed to a $685 million loan from the International Monetary Fund, and effectively sold their country down the river called economic slavery-the master being the Free Market Economy. They will have a lot of company. Many of the world's so-called third world and developing nations are already on that river, barely afloat. Most of Latin America has been under the thumb of the IMF's brutal austerity programs for decades, though certain countries, most notably Venezuela and Bolivia, who are nationalizing their resources, are testament to the pervasive undercurrent of socialist ideals. For Iraq though, the journey has just begun. That $685 million loan came with a heavy price tag: end oil subsidies and open Iraq's economy to the free market. In other words, dismantle any form of socialised society and make it a commodity. Just days after Iraq's constitutional election gave oil companies their first taste of Iraqi crude by requiring all unexplored fields be open to the highest bidder, Prime Minister Al-Jaafari implemented the first of the IMF policies, cutting fuel subsidies. Nearly overnight fuel prices rose nine-fold. Now, five months later, a canister of gas costs about $14 USD in a country where the average monthly income is maybe $200 USD. (…) Now, even though the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs reported in January that poverty among Iraqis had risen by 30 per cent since the US-led invasion, the government is bravely marching toward the free market. At the end of March, the Ministry of Trade, largely responsible for food distribution, announced that it would cancel several items from the long-instituted food ration program. According to figures from the trade ministry itself, nearly 26.5 (or 96 per cent) of Iraq's 28 million people are dependent on the monthly ration. During Saddam Hussein's reign, 12 items were included in the rations. That's now been cut to four essential items, including sugar, rice, flour and cooking oil. The ministry is expecting to cut rations altogether, perhaps by the end of the year, according to the Ra'ad Hamza, a senior trade ministry official. "If you keep Iraq under socialist laws, the economy won't improve," he said to the Integrated Regional Information Networks. "But we'll continue to provide the population with essential items at least until the end of the current year," (…) With half of Iraq's population under the age of 18, it will be the children who bear the brunt of these tried and failed IMF policies. read in full... >> BEYOND IRAQ WE ARE NOT A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS We are not a nation of immigrants. We might have been. We nearly exterminated the entire population of indigenous peoples but in the end we failed. The natives are still here despite our determined drive to genocide. The tribes are still identifiable despite our determined campaign to scatter and destroy their languages, cultures and religious beliefs. We are not a nation of immigrants; we are a nation of conquerors. We are a nation that seizes by force what we desire. We are a nation that has never been content to share our discovered treasures. We did not steal the land from Mexico; we stole the land from the Apache, Lakota, Iroquois, Cherokee, Nez Perce, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Seminole, Blackfoot, Ute, Paiute and countless other tribes that still exist. We joined Mexico is stealing the land from those who did not wish to possess it but merely to live on it in harmony. We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of natives and ungrateful visitors. read in full… AFGHANS' URANIUM LEVELS SPARK ALERT A small sample of Afghan civilians have shown "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine, an independent scientist says. But he found no trace of the depleted uranium (DU) some scientists believe is implicated in Gulf War syndrome. Other researchers suggest new types of radioactive weapons may have been used in Afghanistan. The scientist is Dr Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), based in Canada. Dr Durakovic, a former US army adviser who is now a professor of medicine, said in 2000 he had found "significant" DU levels in two-thirds of the 17 Gulf veterans he had tested. In May 2002, he sent a team to Afghanistan to interview and examine civilians there. (…) It says Nangarhar province was a strategic target zone during the Afghan conflict for the deployment of a new generation of deep-penetrating "cave-busting" and seismic shock warheads. The UMRC says its team identified several hundred people suffering from illnesses and conditions similar to those of Gulf veterans, probably because they had inhaled uranium dust. To test its hypothesis that some form of uranium weapon had been used, the UMRC sent urine specimens from 17 Afghans for analysis at an independent UK laboratory. It says: "Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination. "The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999. "If UMRC's Nangarhar findings are corroborated in other communities across Afghanistan, the country faces a severe public health disaster... Every subsequent generation is at risk." It says troops who fought in Afghanistan and the staff of aid agencies based in Afghanistan are also at risk. (…) Dr Durakovic said he was "stunned" by the results he had found, which are to be published shortly in several scientific journals. He told BBC News Online: "In Afghanistan there were no oil fires, no pesticides, nobody had been vaccinated - all explanations suggested for the Gulf veterans' condition. "But people had exactly the same symptoms. I'm certainly not saying Afghanistan was a vast experiment with new uranium weapons. But use your common sense." read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Media coverage of the Iraq War has generally portrayed the current quagmire as the result of an American failure to achieve a set of otherwise admirable goals.... This rather comfortable portrait of the U.S. as a bumbling, even thoroughly incompetent giant overwhelmed by unexpected forces tearing Iraqi society apart is strikingly inaccurate.... The engine of deconstruction was—and remains—the U.S.-led occupation." -- Tom Engelhard


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