Thursday, May 11, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, May 11, 2006 Photo: Mass graveyard in Fallujah football stadium c/o U.S. military (see below "Where and What is the 'Clear Standard?'") Bring ‘em on: Attack on an American patrol southwest of Baghdad on Thursday, killing one soldier, the US command said. Bring ‘em on: Roadside bomb attack on an American patrol in the same region killed two soldiers, the military said. Bring ‘em on: Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro, 28, of Bethesda, Md., died May 10, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds received while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq, on May 1. "Insurgents" armed with guns and a mortar round attacked U.S. Marines from an abandoned hotel Thursday in Haqlaniyah, the U.S. military said. Coalition forces responded with small arms fire, a shoulder-fired rocket and an air strike on the hotel. The fighting left a child with minor injuries, the military said, but no casualties were reported among the soldiers or insurgents. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: Roadside bomb targeting municipal workers exploded in Baghdad, killing five of them and wounding two. Police say the attack occurred this morning in Mansour, an upscale area in western Baghdad where the workers were cleaning streets. Police in Baghdad say a body found last week has been identified as that of a journalist. He's at least the fourth Iraqi journalist or media worker killed in Iraq this month. Gunmen shot dead a judicial investigator near a courthouse in central Baghdad. Baqubah: Gunmen killed a woman school teacher and wounded her 14-year old nephew. Iraqi police and army arrested 36 gunmen wearing army uniforms who had kidnapped 10 people near Baquba. Five hostages were released. The other five were still missing, the source said. Al Zubeyr: (Near Basra) Gunmen killed a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a major Sunni party, along with two aides in the small town of al-Zubeyr, near Basra, 550 km south of Baghdad, an official in the Islamic party and the head of the city council in Basra said. Mosul: Gunmen shot dead a doctor while he was in his private clinic in Mosul. Kirkuk: Gunmen ambushed and killed a police lieutenant colonel and wounded a policeman in Kirkuk. Baiji: Three policemen wounded when two roadside bombs went off near police patrols in two different incidents in Baiji. Ishaqi: Two Iraqi soldiers killed and four wounded when a roadside bomb went off near an army patrol in Ishaqi, a town 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad. Balad: (Near) Two Iraqi soldiers killed in a roadside bomb attack on the Balad Ishaqiya highway. Four other soldiers were wounded, two critically. Mussayab: (Near) Police found the body of a policeman with his hands bound, signs of torture and shot in the head near the town of Mussayab, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad. Dhuluiya: [May 3 report] U.S. forces arrested a woman doctor late on Tuesday in Dhuluiya, a day after she accused U.S. forces of stealing $4,000 in gold during a raid on her house. >> NEWS Iraq planning to bring its Baghdad security forces under a unified command in bid to quash death squads. Clerics will need official sanction to lead congregations in Iraq's capital and Iraqi forces will only be allowed to raid mosques in the presence of US troops: "We reached an agreement that the imams of mosques must be nominated by the Shiite and Sunni Waqfs (religious administrations) because we have discovered that some imams are imposters who should not be in charge," Major General Mehdi Musabah -- the interior ministry commando chief -- said Thursday. The general was speaking to journalists after a heated meeting with Baghdad Sunni and Shiite imams and tribal leaders where he said a decision had also been taken not to allow Iraqi security forces to raid mosques without US presence. "We have taken the decision not to raid any more Sunni or Shiite mosques without the presence of US security," Musabah said. "If there are forces doing this without the US, it means this is unofficial and that they are gangs using the uniforms of Iraqi forces," Musabah added. US military officials were seen by a reporter at the talks but the military said it knew nothing of the agreement. "That's news to me, that's a surprise to me," said US military spokesman, Major General Rick Lynch. read in full… Large weapons cache found in eastern Baghdad. Discovery of 142 land mines, 58 blocks of C4 explosives, approximately 8,000 feet of detonation cord, 107 fuses, 22 rocket-propelled grenades, a launcher, 59 mortars, 40 pounds of mortar propellant, four shape charges, 43 blasting caps, explosive-formed projectile materials, two gas masks, six two-way radios, multiple mortar launching tubes, maps of Baghdad and Iraq. ZINNI: “WE’RE NOT WITHDRAWING” Don’t count on the U.S. ever withdrawing completely from Iraq, a retired Marine general said Tuesday. Anthony Zinni, the four-star who commanded U.S. Central Command before retiring in 2000, said when the U.S. commits forces to a country now, it means a long-term commitment. Iraq is no different. “It isn’t World War I anymore; we don’t come home anymore,” he said. Zinni said he doesn’t rule out a drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq at some point — he insists that shouldn’t happen now anyway — but the idea that the situation in Iraq will change enough to allow all U.S. troops to ultimately go home is simply wrong. read in full… USDA: “PRESIDENT BUSH HAS A CLEAR STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IN IRAQ…” Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" - saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" - in every speech they give for the department. "The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began. read in full… >> REPORTS As many as 200,000 AK-47s shipped by the U.S. to Iraqi security forces may have ended up in the hands of terrorists. The Northern Ireland newspaper The Daily Mirror reports the 99-ton cache of AK47s was supposed to have been secretly flown out from a U.S. base in Bosnia. But the four planeloads of arms have since vanished. DEPLETED URANIUM STORIES BREAKING THROUGH MEDIA Bob Nichols, an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Bay View, tells me that U.S. Airforce Lt. Col. Roger Helbig often threatens media outlets to intinidate them into not covering stories about depleted uranium and radiation. Today, Nichols says, he's been unsuccessfully threatening Rob McConnell, host of http://www.xzone-radio.com ...which at 11 p.m. ET this evening and for the following three hours will be covering the story. read in full... U.S. ARMY POLICY DENIES RESERVE OFFICER RESIGNATIONS The U.S. Army Reserve, taxed by recruiting shortfalls and war-zone duty, has adopted a policy barring officers from leaving the service if their field is undermanned or they have not been deplo yed to Iraq, to Afghanistanor for homeland defense missions, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The reserve has used the unpublicized policy, first adopted in 2004 and strengthened in a May 2005 memo, to reject the resignations of at least 400 reserve officers, the report said. The memo surfaced during litigation over the policy. At least 10 reserve officers have sued the Army, saying they should be allowed to get out because they have finished their mandatory eight years of service. read in full… MILITIAS DRIVING OUT PROFESSIONALS IN BAGHDAD Colleagues were astonished when Hussain, a nurse at Kadimiyah Hospital in Baghdad, turned up for work in a new suit with a pistol strapped around his waist and announced that he was now in charge. A doctor who ridiculed the idea of this 34-year-old appointing himself administrator of the 700-bed hospital was slapped across the face by his new boss, who ordered armed security guards to escort the medic from the building. The expulsion was a brutal warning to other staff who might question the right of the al-Mahdi Army, a Shia militia, to install one of their own to run the hospital. The same is happening in schools and colleges, the Civil Service and government ministries and leading businesses as Baghdad's middle classes are sacked to make way for militia apparatchiks. For many professionals this assault on their livelihoods and expertise is the final straw, and they are leaving Baghdad in droves. read in full... >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS DAHR JAMAIL: “ALL OF US PARTICIPATE IN A NEW IRAQ” At one point during that presentation in Austin, I attempted in vain to describe to the audience what life in Baghdad is like. It was in vain, because how can anyone in the United States begin to imagine what it is like to be invaded, to have our infrastructure shattered, to have occupying soldiers photographing detained Americans in forced humiliating sexual acts and then to have these displayed on television, to have our churches raided and worshippers therein shot and killed by occupation troops? It is only when more people in the U.S. begin to fathom the totality of the destruction in Iraq that one may expect to hear the public outcry and uprising necessary to end the occupation and bring to justice the war criminals responsible for these conditions. Until that happens, make no mistake: all of us participate in a new Iraq, our hands dyed in the blood of innocents. read in full… ONE THOUSAND NINE-ELEVENS People have forgotten the[Iraq UN] embargo years in Iraq. Nobody gave a shit. Now, today we may see a suicide bomber kill three Americans in an attack. Does anyone realize that the bomber may have had his grandparents and a sister die during the embargo because Iraq was not allowed to import medicine? Or because they were poisoned by drinking water? After a few days of bombing Iraq in 1991, Schwarzkopf took to the podium and proudly stated that the Iraqi drinking water would be poisoned for years to come. He laughed about it. Many resistance fighters now in Iraq did not laugh and they are getting back for the deaths of family members. A recent secret report emerged that showed the U.S. was well aware of the damage it created in Desert Storm and was well aware of the fact that hundreds of thousands would die because of this. Their only regret was that they hoped the world would not find out the real reason for bombing and then the U.S. would have a public relations nightmare. They did not even mention the Iraqi deaths. The report is scary because it was written almost like the results of a sporting event, not the results of a genocidal action. From 1991 to today, the U.S. has killed about three million Iraqi civilians. In other words, Iraq has suffered one thousand nine-elevens. That's quite a statistic. Those fighting the U.S. occupation today have not forgotten. read in full... TERRORIZING IRAQ INTO DISINTEGRATION It is argued that [Minister of Interior Bayan Jabr] Soulagh did allow the sectarian militias in the police to use their authorities and commit all their collective arrests, killings and torture. Otherwise who sent the big and heavily armed police patrols during the night curfew!! Who opens the jails doors to receive the hundreds of detainees, and torture them before they were slaughtered, strangled, shot...and thrown on the garbage or the sewage!! How is it possible that these big convoys of armed men move freely during the curfew without being noticed by the police and the American troops!! Why is it that Soulagh was justifying and defending the police when he was confronted by their crimes in the past!! The American troops are also committing now on the spot executions of men in front of their families. In Samarra and Ramadi at least three cases were documented of the American soldiers killing members of families in front of civilians. Last year, according to an eye-witness, the American troops slaughtered by bayonets two men and shot the third in his mouth in a village north of Baghdad. read in full WHERE AND WHAT IS THE "CLEAR STANDARD"? What kind of "clear standard" is it when genocide can be a pick-and-choose affair? If there is a genocide in Sudan, where the fatality figures range from 60,000 to 400,000, [3] out of a population of 41.2 million, and this is compared to Iraq, where since 1991, approximately 1.5 million Iraqi civilians have perished out of a population of 26.8 million, [4] then proportionally the number of fatalities is far greater in Iraq and Bush has by dint of statistical inference implicated the US government as involved in a genocide. Meanwhile the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed 4 million lives? Why then has the US government failed to declare a genocide in the DRC? Where and what is the "clear standard"? Why is it that the corporate media with all its great resources cannot or does not ask the simple questions? It is but a simple task to analytically skewer the flailing war criminals of the US regime? read in full… THE GERMANS JUST DON’T LIKE WAR [In an interview with German magazine Bild], Chimpy magnanimously forgives Germany for not supporting the war in Iraq:
I've come to realize that the nature of the German people are such that war is very abhorrent, that Germany is a country now that is -- no matter where they sit on the political spectrum, Germans are -- just don't like war. And I can understand that. There's a generation of people who had their lives torn about because of a terrible war.
Yes, the Thirty Years' War was terrible. "Just don't like war." He really said that. Just don't like war. But they like blood sausage. And David Hasselhoff. There's really no accounting for taste, is there? He followed up with this little Freudian slip:
The point now is not what went on in the past. The point now is how do we work together to achieve important goals. And one such goal is a democracy in Germany [sic].
read in full… >> BEYOND IRAQ IRAN
SIGN PETITION OPPOSING ATTACK ON IRAN [This Petition and signatures and comments will be delivered to the White House by many activists, including Cindy Sheehan, between 1 and 3 p.m. ET on May 18, in cooperation with the national conference of the Network of Spiritual Progressives -- Join us! Afterwards, Ray McGovern will lead a march to Rumsfeld's house.] Dear President Bush and Vice President Cheney, We write to you from all over the United States and all over the world to urge you to obey both international and U.S. law, which forbid aggressive attacks on other nations. We oppose your proposal to attack Iran. Iran does not possess nuclear weapons, just as Iraq did not possess nuclear weapons. If Iran had such weapons, that would not justify the use of force, any more than any other nation would be justified in launching a war against the world's greatest possesor of nuclear arms, the United States. The most effective way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons would be to closely monitor its nuclear energy program, and to improve diplomatic relations -- two tasks made much more difficult by threatening to bomb Iranian territory. We urge you to lead the way to peace, not war, and to begin by making clear that you will not commit the highest international crime by aggressively attacking Iran. link CENTRAL ASSUMPTION BEHIND WEST'S HOSTILITY TOWARD IRAN A STEREOTYPE Iran is seen as a kindred version of Saudi Arabia or Talibanist Afghanistan, with a brand of Islam that is intolerant, doctrinaire, and inflexible. Iranian society is regarded as backward, anti-modern, and marked by medieval attitudes. Within the stereotype, most people readily submit themselves to fanatical mullahs, who regulate their daily life. These assumptions are not supported by reality. Sociologists and scholars say that Islam in Iran is more ritualistic than ideological or doctrine-driven. In the streets of Tehran, one comes across portraits of various prophets and the great Shia imams, including Hossain. Middle-class Iranians are more interested in Hindu spiritual gurus and cult-figures like Rajneesh, Sai Baba, Mahesh Yogi, Satya Sai Baba, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar than in Islamic clerics. Many are yoga enthusiasts and vegetarians. The clerics do not command universal respect in Iran. Taxi drivers often refuse to be hired by them. They are seen as overbearing and intrusive on people's privacy. The hijab dress code can only be imposed with a degree of coercion. Many women defy it subtly or overtly. They routinely wear lipstick, expose their ankles, and cover their heads only partially. Young Iranians hate to be regimented and are thoroughly modern in outlook. In their behavior on a university campus or in cafes, they are not particularly distinguishable from say, Indian, Thai, or South African students. Iran has high Internet connectivity and the world's third largest number of blogs. Farsi is the fifth most-used language by bloggers worldwide. Unlike in many parts of the Middle East, Iran has an active, lively civil society as well as a vibrant intellectual and artistic life. read in full...
UK ATTORNEY-GENERAL DEMANDS CLOSURE OF GUANTANAMO At a keynote speech in Whitehall, London, Lord Goldsmith QC said that the US policy of detaining terrorism suspects without trial at the prison camp in Cuba was 'unacceptable'. "It is time, in my view, that is should close. Not only would it, in my personal opinion, be right to close Guantanamo as a matter of principle, I believe it would also help to remove what has become a symbol to many - right or wrong - of injustice," he said. "The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol," he told a terrorism conference organised by the Royal United Services Institute. read in full… WE THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S., IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT DELUSION... We don't want to hear about dying and death. We don't want to hear about ethnic cleansing. We don't want to hear about detention or torture and we don't want to hear about atrocity. We don't want to hear about napalm or uranium be it depleted or otherwise. We don't want to hear about terrorists, even when the terrorists are our own creation. Remember 9/11 and Flight 93 and give us a rousing myth we can cherish. Screw us and delude us. Gouge us and remove us from the ravages of destructive hurricanes. Chocolate cities and not anymore, white makes right then reconstruction. The South WILL rise again. Lie to us, spy on us, and take away our rights. Freedom is just another word for border security. read in full... BIG MONEY FOR BAD WORK "Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work." That is the conclusion reached in a new report from CorpWatch written by an Afghan-American journalist who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction. "The [George W] Bush administration touts the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan as a success story," the report said, but claimed that reconstruction has been "bungled" by "many of the same politically connected corporations which are doing similar work in Iraq", receiving "massive open-ended contracts" without competitive bidding or with limited competition. "These companies are pocketing millions, and leaving behind a people increasingly frustrated and angry with the results," the report said. Foreign contractors "make as much as US$1,000 a day, while the Afghans they employ make $5 per day," the report charged. read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This is now a battle for the soul of America. The very future of this Republic may well rest on whether or not anyone can, or will, stop George W. Bush." -- Political scientist George Harleigh, who served in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations.


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