Tuesday, May 09, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR TUESDAY, May 9, 2006 Photo: Masked insurgents carry their weapons while patrolling a street in the restive Iraqi city of Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, May 8, 2006. (Ali Mashadani/Reuters) Bring ‘em on: The US military announced Tuesday the death of a soldier in east Baghdad after he was a hit by a roadside bomb a day before. Bring ‘em on: Marine Cpl. Cory L. Palmer, had been injured in an explosion in Iraq on May 1. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, however, he learned in a phone call from his brother that the young Marine had died from his injuries while on a flight from Germany to San Antonio. Bring ‘em on: Pvt. Alva L. Gaylord, 25, of Carrollton, Mo., died of injuries sustained in Qasr Ar Riyy, Iraq on May 5, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle during a combat clearing operation. Gaylord was assigned to the Army National Guard's 110th Engineer Battalion, Kansas City, Mo. Bring ‘em on: Pfc. Benjamin T. Zieske, 20, of Concord, Calif., died of injuries sustained in Kirkuk, Iraq on May 3, when an improvised explosive device detonated during a dismounted combat patrol. Zieske was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. Bring ‘em on: Leon Deraps, a 2005 graduate of Jamestown High School in Moniteau County, was a part of the Marines 7th Engineer Support Battalion. A report on STLtoday.com, an online product of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said he was killed by a roadside bomb while on duty in Fallujah. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Six Iraqi reporters were killed across Iraq during the past three days, the Observatory for Freedom of the Press said Tuesday.
The Iraqi Journalists Union published a report and lists of the 109 Iraqi journalists who were killed in the last 3 years. The list took 5 months of working on the ground, documenting when, where, how and by whom the journalists were killed.
Two delivery men working for an Iraqi army catering service company were kidnapped in northern Iraq. Baghdad: Two drive-by shootings killed three Iraqis in Baghdad. A roadside bomb hit a police car in Baghdad, killing one officer and wounding two. Twelve bodies bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds were found in various areas of Baghdad. A roadside bomb aimed at police guarding electricity installations exploded in northwestern Baghdad, killing two civilians. Two policemen and three civilians were wounded, police sources said. Judge Muhaimin Mahmoud Abbod was gunned down by unknown gunmen while he was driving his car on the main road near the Nafaq al-Shurta tunnel. Bodyguard of a parliament speaker wounded as unknown gunmen attacked him in western Baghdad. Iraqi police patrols discovered 10 bodies riddled with bullets in different parts of Baghdad. Sunni cleric killed in southern Baghdad. The Iraqi Islamic Party said Dulaimi was the 150th Sunni cleric to be killed in Iraq since 2003. Baker killed in Baghdad's Al-Dura neighborhood. Two brothers killed by gunmen in southern Baghdad. Two Iraqi soldiers wounded in a mortar attack on their army base in southeastern Baghdad. Civilian wounded in roadside bombing in Al-Dura neighborhood. Ramadi: Gunmen killed four police officers while they were driving out of the police headquarters in Ramadi. Kirkuk: Gunmen killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded two others in the main road between Tikrit and Kirkuk. Iraqi army soldier killed and two others wounded when their patrol was attacked by gunmen near Kirkuk. Owja: (near Tikrit) Gunmen kidnapped two people who work in supplying the Iraqi army with food in the town of Owja, near Tikrit. Latifiya: Bodies of three people, one wearing police uniform, found with gunshot wounds and their hands bound in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. Suwayra: Bodies, nine of whom were beheaded, discovered near the Sunni town of Suwayra, 25 miles southeast of Baghdad. Seven of them were wearing Iraqi security forces uniforms. Amara: A civilian and a political activist were mowed down by bullets in Amara. >> NEWS Former CIA Middle East specialist condemns "organised campaign of manipulation" by Bush administration to justify Iraq invasion: Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst specialising in counter-terrorism in the Middle East and Asia, said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais that the United States had particularly wanted to prove a link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. "That was not the case," he was quoted as saying. "I suppose by some definitions that could be called a lie." The decision to invade Iraq was taken as early as the beginning of 2002, a year before hostilities began, Pillar said. It was decided "for other reasons and did not depend on weapons of mass destruction or the results of United Nations inspections," he said. MORE THAN 450 IRAQI INTELLECTUALS THREATENED WITH ASSASSINATION A militia group with immense power in Iraq has issued names of 461 intellectuals which it says it has ordered its armed men to assassinate. The name list is distributed across the country and copies are not hard to obtain in Baghdad. Several Iraq-related websites have issued the names. The list includes some of the brightest Iraqi authors, journalists, doctors and scientists. Azzaman obtained the list from the Iraqi Writers Union which declined to reveal the name of the factional group calling for the killing of the 461 intellectuals, citing security concerns. read in full... >> REPORTS "THERE IS A STRATEGY TO RIDICULE AL QAEDA AND ZARQAWI" The U.S. military published late on Monday what it said was a captured document that showed the militant group [Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq® franchise – zig]] recognized it was weak and unpopular in Baghdad. A translation of the undated, three-page document suggested al Qaeda was reviewing tactics in the city, currently focused on car bombs and other guerrilla tactics, and proposing improving its military capabilities to hold territory in any civil war. The document was mentioned in a news briefing last week at which the U.S. military also aired what it said were outtakes from a video promoting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda's best known leader in Iraq, that was posted on the Internet. A spokesman mocked the Jordanian's competence with a gun and his choice of American sports shoes, seen in the unedited film. "There is a strategy to ridicule al Qaeda and Zarqawi," said Magnus Ranstorp at the Swedish National Defense College. "It could also be part of a U.S. psychological campaign." (…) Ranstorp said he did not believe al Qaeda had any problems finding new recruits from outside Iraq eager to fight the U.S. military, but said the movement had become more unpopular inside the country, partly due to attacks on crowds of civilians. [as they probably say in the Pentagon, if Zarqawi didn't exist he'd have to be invented…; my emphasis– zig] HEALING IRAQ BLOG BACK ONLINE Sorry for the unannounced absence. I had some troubles getting online (still have actually) and, now that summer is here, the electricity situation is worse than ever with less than 4 hours of power a day - and only 2 per day for the last 3 days or so. The deteriorating situation in my neighbourhood is always a very convenient excuse for local generator owners to provide less hours of power (but heaven forbid if someone is late on paying their monthly subscription fee). It hasn't been very pretty in Adhamiya since my last post. The district looks deserted most of the time, with random gunfire here and there. American Apache helicopters circle the area almost non-stop, and residents are whispering to each other about an imminent assault, as part of the American plan to 'liberate' Baghdad again. But to liberate it from whom? Its residents? read in full… >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS MAKING A RELATIVELY NON-SECTARIAN SAUSAGE In the Los Angeles Times this morning, Borzou Daragahi gives us a glimpse at how they're making the sausage soon to be known as the government of Iraq:
Officials said talks over control of the key ministries had reached a crucial point, with a Shiite slated to keep the interior post and a Sunni to take over defense if individuals could be found who were relatively free of sectarian or political affiliations.
So the departments are being allotted by sect, but only if the ministers are "relatively" non-sectarian. Great. Somehow, I think "relatively" is going to translate into "not at all, but we've agreed to pretend otherwise." read in full… ATWAR BAHJAT’S DEATH….. REVISITED I bet right now you all know about this video clip killing of Atwat Bahjat, if not, then read “The Sunday Times” article: Part of me died when I saw this cruel killing. [see "AN ACT OF EXCEPTIONAL CRUELTY" in yesterday's post -- zig] I want to add the followings: AlaArabyia (the Arabic Satellite channel Atwar worked for before her death) denied that the woman in the video is Atwar Bahjat saying this:
The woman in morgue who washed Atwar’s dead body said the head was attached to the body, Atwar’s family said the same also because they (her mother) saw the body.
Now which one do you believe?? “The Sunday Times” or AlaArabyia?. read in full BUSH DETERMINED TO KILL MORE G.I.s Point number one: Bush wholeheartedly resists the idea that the American occupation makes things worse in Iraq. Point number two: The general in charge of day-to-day operations in Iraq says the heavy handed tactics of U.S. troops creates insurgents. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IS THE FACT THAT OUR BASIC MILITARY TACTIC IS MAKING THINGS TEN TIMES WORSE. How do I know? Take it away, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli... “For every one that I kill, I create almost 10 more.” Treating Iraqi civilians in a more sensitive and honorable way is perhaps an attainable goal over time, but not killing insurgents isn’t really a viable alternative. Time to go home. link DESTROYING IRAQ TO SAVE IT Perhaps the most famous quotation from the Vietnam War was the comment from an American commander who said casually that his forces "had to destroy the village in order to save it." Last week, Senator Joe Biden joined that commander in cold cynicism, proposing to divide Iraq in order to unify it. Specifically, he proposed to redraw the map of Iraq on the Yugoslav model, fracturing it. "The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group-Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab-room to run its own affairs." Biden added innocently: "Decentralization is hardly as radical as it may seem. ... Things are already heading toward partition." It is not the first time that a plan for breaking up Iraq into three or more parts has been floated. In fact, Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations-who co-authored the proposal, which was published as an op-ed in The New York Times on May 1, has been pushing this discredited notion for years. Gelb is the source of the Sopranos-like quote in the Biden-Gelb piece that suggested the United States should make the Sunnis "an offer they couldn't refuse." Gelb has also proposed the idea of permanent American military bases in Kurdistan. Like mini-Churchills puffing on cigars and carving up the Ottoman Empire-in way that protected the oil that fueled the imperial British Navy-Biden and Gelb resemble nothing as much as amateur imperialists. read in full... A WINDOW ON TO THE NIGHTMARE IRAQI WOMEN ARE LIVING IN It is unusual to see at close quarters what is going on for women in cities like Qaim, which last year came under heavy attack from American troops. Access for the western media is severely restricted. Now, though, we have a window on to Qaim thanks to another Iraqi woman, a film-maker who has travelled through the country speaking to widows and children, to doctors and students, in pursuit of the reality of her fellow country-women's lives. The film-maker, who lives in Baghdad, wants to keep her identity secret because she fears reprisals, so I'll call her Zeina. When I spoke to her by telephone, the first first thing I asked her was why it is that she feels she has to hide her identity, and in her answer she does not distinguish between the government and the insurgents, in the way that we are taught to do here. "I feel the threat from the government and from the sectarian militias," she says. "The danger in Iraq comes from the Americans, from the sectarian militias - and, of course, it also comes from the crime, the gangs, the random kidnappings." read in full… US NEWSPAPER SAYS THE UNTHINKABLE ON IRAQ Could it be, could it be for even an iota of momentary lapse of reason (or prejudice) that the invasion of Iraq has actually put Iraqis in a far worse predicament? Could it be that Iraqi lives were more secure prior to the US war of liberation? Well, the Los Angeles Times seems to think so:
BAGHDAD - More Iraqi civilians were killed in Baghdad during the first three months of this year than at any time since the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime - at least 3,800, many of them found hogtied and shot execution-style. Others were strangled, electrocuted, stabbed, garroted or hanged. Some died in bombings. Many bore signs of torture such as bruises, drill holes, burn marks, gouged eyes or severed limbs.
The writer, Louise Roug, is surely to get hate mail from the rabid pro-war crowd. Yallah, bring out the Iraqi pro-war gang. Please, quote them telling us how wonderful this war was, or how they can finally breathe after 7000 years in captivity. But, don't quote them to me. Do that to the mothers and sisters of all those slain. read in full... >> BEYOND IRAQ At least six people hurt in blasts in the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, close to the Iraq border: No-one has claimed responsibility for the blasts, which hit local government buildings at about 1400 local time (1020GMT), separated by just minutes. Kermanshah has a large Kurdish population, and is seen by some Kurds as part of a greater Kurdistan. On Sunday Iran reportedly shelled two Kurdish rebel positions inside Iraq. Gallup Poll: Bush’s Approval falls to 31% STRAW'S FATE "SEALED" AFTER BUSH CALL TO BLAIR? The Independent suggests that a phone call from the U.S. president to British Prime Minister Tony Blair led to the removal of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Friday. The newspaper reports that friends of Straw believe Mr. Bush was extremely upset when Straw pronounced any use of nuclear weapons against Iran "nuts." Both The Independent and the Guardian write that Straw's "fate was sealed" after a White House phone call to Blair. read in full... THIS COULD BE THE MOST DANGEROUS PERIOD OF BUSH'S REIGN The carefully layered walls of Bush's bubble are closing in as the outer layers of purchased politicos are beginning to peel away, revealing the core ideologues of the cabal. (...) Stepping out from behind the curtain into the positions of power are faces of past bloody mis-adventures like Negroponte, and engineers of the new American fascism, like Gen. Hayden, whose tenure is marked by the admission of the treasonous act of spying on Americans he shared with the president who directed him there. This bunch's retreat from their privileged bunkers at the end of Bush's term will be marred by more than misplaced furniture and missing typewriter keys. They are neck-deep in two occupations (both with active, violent resistance), complete with over a thousand prisoners, most held without charges, and many subject to torture which continues even in the wake of the revelations at Abu Ghraib; they are actively engaged in another similar face down of another sovereign nation, Iran, threatening them with preemptive war without any evidence of any threat, direct or otherwise; and our nation is being held hostage to outrageous prices for gas and oil, fueled in a great part by the very militarism that Bush's father promised in the first Gulf war would secure the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf. The core ideologues who comprise the leadership in the U.S. offices of war and muckraking have long nursed their ambitions to ride the nation's military machine to world dominance and influence. Unchecked, they're going to scorch the earth before their regime dies. read in full... RAY McGOVERN: MY MEETING WITH RUMSFELD What I am doing in Atlanta on the day of a very large lecture by Donald Rumsfeld to an establishment audience is something calling for no little explanation, for I am not such a guy as you are likely to find in such a venue at any time-and especially not when the ducat requires $40 up front. But serendipity prevailed. read in full... THE COUNTRY THAT WOULDN'T GROW UP The State of Israel remains curiously (and among Western-style democracies, uniquely) immature. The social transformations of the country - and its many economic achievements - have not brought the political wisdom that usually accompanies age. Seen from the outside, Israel still comports itself like an adolescent: consumed by a brittle confidence in its own uniqueness; certain that no one "understands" it and everyone is "against" it; full of wounded self-esteem, quick to take offense and quick to give it. Like many adolescents Israel is convinced - and makes a point of aggressively and repeatedly asserting - that it can do as it wishes, that its actions carry no consequences and that it is immortal. Appropriately enough, this country that has somehow failed to grow up was until very recently still in the hands of a generation of men who were prominent in its public affairs 40 years ago: an Israeli Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep in, say, 1967 would be surprised indeed to awake in 2006 and find Shimon Peres and General Ariel Sharon still hovering over the affairs of the country - the latter albeit only in spirit. But that, Israeli readers will tell me, is the prejudiced view of the outsider. What looks from abroad like a self-indulgent, wayward country - delinquent in its international obligations and resentfully indifferent to world opinion - is simply an independent little state doing what it has always done: looking after its own interests in an inhospitable part of the globe. Why should embattled Israel even acknowledge such foreign criticism, much less act upon it? They - gentiles, Muslims, leftists - have reasons of their own for disliking Israel. They - Europeans, Arabs, fascists - have always singled out Israel for special criticism. Their motives are timeless. They haven't changed. Why should Israel change? read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented." -- Georges Braque


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