DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2006
: A murdered Iraqi policeman sits in a car following an attack in central Baghdad, Wednesday, May 10, 2006. Unknown gunmen opened fire on two traffic police officers while driving off-duty, killing both in the Mansur area in western Baghdad. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Bring 'em on
: Sgt. Matthew J. Fenton, 24, of Little Ferry, N.J., died May 6 at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., from wounds received while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq on April 26.
Bring 'em on
: Gov. Mike Rounds announced today that he has received word of the death of Staff Sgt. Gregory A. Wagner of Mitchell, S.D. who was serving with Yankton's Battery C, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery currently in Iraq.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Gunmen fatally shot the director of the Defense Ministry's public relations office.
He was on his way to work when his car was stopped by another vehicle in the residential neighborhood of Bayaa. Three men then got out of another car and opened fire, killing him and wounding an Iraqi pedestrian.
Suspected insurgents killed a taxi driver and a former member of Iraq's disbanded Baath party.
A similar attack killed a civilian driver about 80 miles south of the capital.
South African security guard working for American company killed.
According to his mother, he was in an armoured car that was hit by a bomb in Baghdad on Monday. He died immediately.
Bodies of two Iraqis who had been handcuffed and shot found in eastern Baghdad.
Gunmen in two cars killed two traffic policemen in western Baghdad.
Near Baqouba, gunmen stopped a bus taking employees to work at a state-run company and after ordering women off the bus, shot and killed the men inside.
Another company bus then stopped and rushed to rescue the wounded. When the door of the bus opened, a bomb exploded inside, he said. The final death toll was 11 killed and six wounded.
Gunmen killed an aide to the head of Baquba's Criminal Intelligence Directorate
, along with two body guards, while he was heading to his work in the city.
A policeman and a civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a police patrol in Baquba.
A vehicle loaded full of explosives exploding on Tuesday evening at a shopping centre in Tall’afar, killed 22 and injured 65. All of them were Iraqi civilians, including children. [IHA Video]
"Attracting a crowd by hawking flour at half-price from a pickup truck, a suicide attacker in the northern city of Tall Afar on Tuesday detonated bombs hidden beneath the flour sacks." [no further details whatsoever given in the Washington Post to substantiate this version of events provided by the U.S. military -- zig]
(update) The death toll from Tuesday's suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar has risen to 24 from 17, police said on Wednesday. The U.S. command said Wednesday that 134 Iraqis were wounded, at least 24 of them critically.Dujail:
Armed men in two cars opened fire at a leader of Badr organization in Dujail
, while he was travelling on the main road outside the town of Dujail.
Army major and two soldiers seriously wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their patrol in Hawija
, 70 km southwest of Kirkuk.
Two roadside bombs targeting two American convoys in Mosul, missed their targets but killed one civilian and wounded three.
HANDFUL OF ZARQAWI LIEUTENANTS ESCAPE FROM PRISON
Four of the 'most dangerous terrorists' in Iraq escaped from Susa prison in the northern Kurdish province of Sulaymanyah, a senior US army officer said Wednesday.
Colonel David Kerry said that it was not clear how the suspected terrorists fled the facility Tuesday night. He said a committee was investigating the incident.
Susa is one of the largest prisons that accommodate the followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and top officials from the former Iraqi regime. There was no sign of the men, who security sources said were Iraqis, more than 24 hours after Tuesday's overnight breakout.
read in full…
IRAQ WAR MUCH LESS POPULAR THAN VIETNAM AT SAME STAGE
As passionate as Americans were about Vietnam, some 12 percent of them had failed to form an opinion about the war by April 1968, according to Gallup data. Today, just 1 percent of Americans are undecided about Iraq. And disapproval of Bush's decision to invade is 15 percentage points higher than approval, an April 7-9 Gallup poll of 1,004 adults showed. That's twice as wide a gap as on Vietnam at this time four decades ago.
Bush's job-approval ratings are lower than were Johnson's during the far bloodier Vietnam conflict. Among the reasons: the highly publicized intelligence failures that preceded the Iraq invasion of 2003, the fact that Bush began the war, and the shadow of Vietnam itself, historians say.
read in full...
Former British army colonel: "We are potentially facing disaster""
: Col. Tim Collins, speaking at the Oxford Union, said British troops in Iraq were in danger, and that the British government faced the ''clear choice'' of either giving them adequate body armor and other resources or withdrawing them from Iraq.
Collins said that British forces had long since ''abandoned'' Basra and the rescue team had to be led to the scene by private security firms to recover the bodies. Once there, they had no equipment to tackle the flames and had to borrow fire extinguishers from the security firms.
''They are doing an amazing job with no resources,'' he said. ''But we have already, in terms of our mission, failed in southern Iraq and we are potentially facing disaster.
''There is now a very clear choice: Either reinforce and give them body armor and fire extinguishers or accept that we have failed and for the sake of those servicemen and other people around them, get them out.''
IRAQ'S SHIAS TURNING AGAINST THE AMERICANS
A sense of nationalism is now growing among all Iraqis, and analysts have long predicted that the Shias' anti-Western attitudes were sure to surface some day. "We had a lot of grace period," said Graham E. Fuller, a former Mideast-based CIA operative. "But essentially, no group in Iraq that aspires to rule with legitimacy can act in a way perceived as being pro-American."
read in full...
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO THINK UP AN EXCUSE FOR THE IRAQ FIASCO
Short of using WMDs on Anbar Province, or turning the Sunni quarters of Baghdad into modern-day versions of the Warsaw Ghetto, it's not clear what kind of "military professionalism" would make our home front field marshals feel happy about the war again. I mean, the real generals have tried massive search-and-destroy sweeps, mass arrests, "oil spot" pacification campaigns, surrounding entire cities with barbed wire fences, clearing others (Fallujah and Tel Afer) block by block, selective bombing, precision bombing, revenge bombing. We've had Marines go house to house killing everyone they find. We've dropped 500 pound bombs in crowded urban neighborhoods, we've shot people (lots of people) on sight for driving too close to military convoys.
You have to wonder how much ferocity the Shelby Steele's of the world would need to see before they'd accept that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have finally put their white guilt behind them.
I think what's happening here isn't so much a credible demand for genocide as it is a fairly desperate attempt to think up an excuse for the Iraq fiasco -- one that doesn't involve admitting the invasion was a really stupid idea, stupidly executed. As a way of rationalizing defeat, it's a direct descendent of the post-Vietnam argument that our boys were forced to fight with one hand tied behind their backs, because LBJ wouldn't invade the North or nuke Hanoi.
read in full...
LETTER TO GI SPECIAL
My greatest revelation from Vietnam, was the realization that I was the enemy in Southeast Asia.
Thirty-five years later, that insight has not changed one bit.
Now, the people who are dying in countries as a result of American occupation, are connected to me. That is what happens when you become a Global Citizen.
I don't deserve a medal for being non-violent. Can you imagine what OUR behavior would be like if we lost our entire family to a U.S. Air Strike.
As much as I would like to pride myself in the intellectual insight I may have about what is happening in Iraq, seeing one of my children gutted by a U.S. weapon might just change my strategy toward life.
Turn the rifle just a little to the right, and I might have a whole new insight into human behavior, and my reaction to it.
I wonder what it is like to bury your entire family on a sunny day.
If this happened to me, I might just sell everything I own, and find an outlet for my anger.
read in full...
RESHUFFLING THE CARDS IN IRAQ
The label of "Sunnis" and "Shiites" is a U.S. creation to provide a smokescreen and divert people's attention from the crimes of the Occupation. The relationships between the armed militias and the Occupation can only be described as symbiotic relationships. It is a campaign of terror financed and implemented with the full force of the U.S. and its agents.
If one examines those expatriates who the U.S. piggybacked to Iraq and placed them in higher positions to serve its imperialist-Zionist agenda; one will have great difficulty in finding anyone with anti-Occupation, nationalist views. The U.S. administration continues to reshuffle the expatriates like cards. In other words, they are recycled for the same purpose. From the first day they arrived in Iraq, they settled with the occupying forces completely isolated -- in the fortified "Green Zone" -- from the Iraqi population. They have one thing in common with the Bush administration: looting Iraq's wealth and destroying Iraq's unity. It is consistent with the U.S. effort to colonise Iraq and create a dependent subordinate Iraq.
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IT IS THE ROLE OF AMERICANS AS "LIBERATORS" THAT NEEDS SCRUTINY
Why are we Americans not afraid as we watch our freedoms evaporate - not concerned - not interested in stopping the erosion of the rights that our forefathers fought and died to achieve? Why is it so hard to understand that the way we deal with enemy prisoners today will be the way our government will deal with Americans when the time comes to "re-define" the "enemy. Why indeed did the average German not object to the gradual loss of his freedoms during Hitler's rise to power? How did we not object to Ruby Ridge or Waco? There are many answers none of which is absolute, but each is contributory. (...)
Today we Americans are given a rare opportunity to glimpse our American future if we can tear ourselves away from the current episode of "American Idol" long enough to focus on events "not reported on Faux News or CNN". Today even though Sean Hannity doesn't tells us, the "Salvadorian type death squads" making life such a living hell for the average Iraqi are, as previously in El Salvador, being run by "our" CIA. "Our" CIA controls today's Iraqi Ministry of the Interior with its assignations, private torture prisons, car bombers and private militias all used with the intent of fomenting a sectarian civil war that will ultimately lead to a breakup of Iraq into smaller, weaker entities whose resources can be more easily stolen. This same approach lies in wait for the control of America's future enemies (today's average American) who insist on clinging to "that goddamn piece of paper" called our Constitution.
Today's war in Iraq needs further historic background to more fully explain its dismal failure (as if listening to George explain his reasons for going to war does not fully explain the war's present condition and its probable outcome). It is not the "war" which needs further examination; it is the role of Americans as "liberators" in modern history that needs further scrutiny.
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ALBANY TIMES UNION CALLS RUMSFELD A LIAR
Imagine my shock when I read an editorial in the Times Union
and they actually called Rumsfeld a liar. I have never seen any traditional media outlet come right out and state that fact.
But then there's the even more troubling matter of his utter lack of integrity. Mr. Rumsfeld's tenure at the Pentagon has been marked by a series of misstatements he made about Iraqi weapons capability before the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Worse, Mr. Rumsfeld denies making those statements. That makes him a liar.
Then they go on to make the insanely easy case to back up their claim. Obviously anyone who reads this site [Daily Kos]
knows all these facts. It would've been great to see this in 2004. But at least it's happening now.
read in full…
>> BEYOND IRAQ
Israel Has “up to 200” Atomic Warheads
: This estimate "is based on the production capacity of the country's reactors," John Eldridge, editor-in-chief of Jane's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense told Agence France-Presse.
LETTER FROM TEHRAN
As the UN Security Council comes to grips with the issue of Iran's determination to join the nuclear club, and the question becomes the focus of a debate in the U.S. similar to that which preceded the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to President George W. Bush that has been described, variously, as "rambling," a "diversion," and "doesn't address the dispute over Iran's enrichment of uranium."
That was before the full text became available, however, and we can see that this latter accusation is untrue. Here is what President Ahmadinejad has to say about his country's drive to acquire nuclear technology:
THAT'S WHAT I CALL CHUTZPAH!
"Why is it that any scientific and technological achievement reached in the Middle East region is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations?
"You are familiar with history. In what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilized for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc., must be opposed."A "diversion"? To the contrary, framing the issue in the context of Israel's opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions, President Ahmadinejad addresses the issue directly and honestly, which is more than we can say for the Americans, not to mention the Israelis – and where, pray tell, is his answer? Why is it that everything that goes on in the region must be seen in the context of the effect it has on Israel? And what are the limits of the restrictions placed on Iran and other nations when it comes the development of "dual use" technology?
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IRANIAN NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: “WE WILL DEFEND OUR COUNTRY TO THE LAST DROP OF OUR BLOOD”
Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for democracy and human rights in Iran and elsewhere, spoke Saturday at the Islamic Center of American, in Dearborn.
Unfortunately, in the Middle East, what happened to Iraq demonstrates that over 100,000 civilians were killed. Iraq was destroyed. Also, American youth get killed in that war. The only beneficiaries of the war are people who sell arms.
As a Muslim Iranian, I state here that I do criticize the government of Iran. But this does not mean that America has the right to invade Iran. And if America has not learned its lesson from Iraq and thinks of invading Iran, notwithstanding all of the criticisms we have of our government, we will defend our country to the last drop of our blood. And we will not let an alien soldier set foot on the land of Iran.
If American speaks of globalization, this doesn't mean that the whole world is seen as one village and Bush is seen as the only sheriff of that village.
read in full...
After years of ignoring the United Nations panel charged with oversight of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) - a centerpiece of international human rights law - the US government turned up at a meeting of the group in Geneva with a delegation of more than two dozen lawyers and other officials to affirm that the US is "absolutely committed to uphold its national and international obligations to eradicate torture" and that "there are no exceptions to this prohibition."
The government's theory must be that the more lawyers you bring to Geneva, the easier it will be to bob and weave your way around those pesky questions people keep asking about Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo, renditions and secret prisons in Eastern Europe.
Especially if your delegation doesn't include anyone from the CIA.
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THE US'S GEOPOLITICAL NIGHTMARE
Summary: The Bush administration was given a chance to deliver on the US strategic goal of controlling energy resources globally. It has failed, as it is failing over Iran, with US antagonism driving rival countries into one another's arms. The administration has also lost its way in protecting US hegemony, as espoused by the Bush Doctrine, especially with regard to China and Russia. It's potentially the greatest strategic defeat for US power projection since World War II.
The most fascinating indication of a sea-change within the US political establishment toward the Bush Doctrine and those who are behind it is the developing debate around the 83-page paper ["The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy"],
first published on the official website of Harvard University, criticizing the dominant role of Israel in shaping US foreign policy.
The paper was initially trashed by the B'nai Brith and select neo-conservative writers as "anti-Semitic", which it is not, and one commentator tried to smear it as "echoing the views of former KKK [Ku Klux Klan] leader and white-power advocate David Duke", who has also attacked the Israel lobby.
However, profoundly significant is the fact that this time leading mainstream media, including Richard Cohen in the Washington Post
, have come to the defense of authors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. Even certain sections of the Israeli press have done so. The taboo of speaking publicly of the pro-Israel agenda of neo-conservatives has apparently been broken.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: ""I suppose by some definitions that could be called a lie."" -- Paul Pillar, former CIA analyst, speaking to El Pais Spanish newspaper about the inexistant link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein the U.S. used to justify the invasion of Iraq.