DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, June 30, 2006
: Hospital workers carry the body of a militant on a stretcher in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, June 29, 2006. The militant was among the three killed by the U.S. and Iraqi troops after a gunbattle with members of the Mehdi Army. Picture taken June 29, 2006. REUTERS/Helmiy al-Azawi (IRAQ)
Bring 'em on
: A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday as a result of injuries suffered from a bomb explosion while on a dismounted combat patrol south of Baghdad. (CENTCOM)
Bring 'em on
: A U.S. Marine was killed Friday in fighting west of Baghdad, while a soldier died the day before north of the capital, the military said. The Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died from wounds sustained in fighting in volatile Anbar province, according to a statement.
Bring 'em on
: Small arms fire killed a soldier from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Thursday in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Police found at least 10 bodies across Iraq
, including one of a five-year-old unidentified boy who was tortured and later executed with a bullet to the head.
A parked car bomb in northern Baghdad wounded one person and a mortar barrage against a police station in the south wounded another.
The Shiite Husseiniya al-Maqdadiya mosque was the target of an insurgent mortar attack In the city of Baquba.
The mosque was damaged but no casualties were reported.
American and Iraqi soldiers were called in after Iraqi police came under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades while trying to enter the village of Daliqiya near Baqouba
, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. The coalition forces, backed by air support, chased the insurgents into a house, engaging in a fierce gunbattle that left three fighters dead and three wounded, the military said, adding that four other suspects were detained.
Armed men on a motorcycle shot dead a member of the former ruling Baath party as he travelled in a car along with his wife in the town of Kut
, 175 kilometers (110 miles) south of Baghdad,
Three civilians were killed and seven wounded when a roadside bomb went off against a bus on the main road north of Kirkuk.
An Iraqi army soldier was killed and eight others wounded when a roadside bomb went off targeting their patrol west of Kirkuk.
Three Iraqi soldiers were wounded south of Kirkuk in an IED attack.
Three civilians were wounded when rebels threw a grenade against a passing US patrol in a market in the town of Hawija
, near Kirkuk,
Police found four bullet-riddled bodies in Al-Rashaad
, 55 kilometers (35 miles) south of Kirkuk. The victims' hands and legs were tied and eyes blindfolded, the police said, adding there were torture marks on their bodies.
U.S. Army will investigate charges that American soldiers were involved in the killings of four Iraqi relatives, including a woman who had been raped
, military officials said Friday. It's the sixth current inquiry into the alleged slayings of Iraqi civilians by American troops.
Some of the five soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting in the March incident, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
Iraqi Sunni rebels have rejected the prime minister's reconciliation plan
, a top Sunni Arab leader said on Friday.
Iraqi authorities reimposed a four-hour driving ban to coincide with Friday prayers.
Nearly 20 trucks carrying heavy equipment left the Japanese base in Samawah
, about 230 miles southeast of Baghdad, for Kuwait as Tokyo continued its phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Romania's Supreme Council of National Defense Friday rejected a request from the ruling coalition liberal party to withdraw Romanian troops out of Iraq.
In the past three weeks, Iraq has exported 6.2 million barrels of crude to Turkey from its northern fields.
Total exports from Iraq in that period, including the oil fields in the south, have increased to 2.5 million barrels per day, the highest level since the invasion, the Oil Ministry reported.
IRAQ WAR BACKFIRING ON US, EXPERTS WARN
The United States is losing its fight against terrorism and the Iraq war is the main reason, more than 80 per cent of American terrorism and national security experts have said in a survey.
One expert, former CIA official Michael Scheuer, said the war in Iraq had provided global terrorist groups with a recruiting bonanza and a valuable training ground.
"The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on terror," said Mr Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris, a book highly critical of the Bush Administration's anti-terrorism efforts. "It has made everything more difficult and the threat more existential."
Mr Scheuer, a former CIA counter-terrorism expert, is one of more than 100 national security and terrorism analysts surveyed in the poll by Foreign Policy magazine and the Centre for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank headed by John Podesta, a White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration.
Of the experts surveyed, 45 identified themselves as liberals, 40 said they were moderates and 31 called themselves conservatives. The pollsters weighted the responses so that the percentage results reflected one-third participation by each group.
Asked whether the US was winning the war on terror, 84 per cent said no and 13 per cent answered yes. Asked whether the war in Iraq was helping or hurting the global anti-terrorism campaign, 87 per cent said it was undermining those efforts.
A similar number, 86 per cent, said the world was becoming more dangerous for the US.
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF IMPROVISED ELECTRONIC DEVICES
As with the brouhaha last month in the Iraqi parliament sparked by a cell phone's Shiite religious chant as a ringtone, I've come across another news story that I feel contractually required to pass along to Needlenose readers.
Here it is, from the Associated Press yesterday:
In a sign of the e-times, Iraq's prime minister has set up an e-mail account to communicate with insurgents.
Nouri al-Maliki had the address flashed during a broadcast Sunday night on state-run al-Iraqiya television. It was advertised as an address to which insurgents could write and be assured confidentiality.
. . . Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker and close associate of President Jalal Talabani, confirmed al-Maliki set up an e-mail account but did not have details about how many electronic messages had been received.
But Iraqi presidential security adviser Wafiq al-Samaraie said the response so far had been low, with just two messages reportedly arriving Wednesday. The government did not repeat the address after the initial broadcast to prevent it from being flooded with junk mail.
Somehow, I think that spam should be the least of their worries. I sure as hell wouldn't click on any attachments, though.
A question for the Needlenose community of readers: Anyone have any other ideas about how al-Maliki might use the Internet to help resolve the occupation/civil war in Iraq?
PENTAGON USES "FALLUJA MODEL" IN ASSAULT ON RAMADI
U.S. troops, backed up by helicopter gunships and air strikes by American warplanes, are picking their way through Ramadi, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province and predominantly Sunni, is normally home to some 400,000 residents. Today, only 150,000 people remain.
The rest have fled because of a suffocating U.S. siege. "Whole city blocks here look like a scene from some post-apocalyptic world: row after row of buildings shot up, boarded up, caved in, tumbled down," according to the New York Times.
Beginning weeks ago, the U.S. closed all but one of the roads into and out of the city and began cutting water and electricity supplies, imposing tight curfews, stationing snipers on rooftops, limiting medical aid and--most terrifying of all--carrying out random air strikes.
"They're using the Falluja model," said Beau Grosscup, a professor of international politics at California State University-Chico, referring to methods used by the U.S. in its two assaults on the nearby city of Falluja in April and November 2004. "Civilians are told to leave--if you don't, we assume that you are in support of the insurgents. That's been going on for months."
"The use of air power becomes the primary way to 'soften' up the enemy in support of the snipers who are already in there and to flatten the city if that's what it takes, as they say, to bring 'security.'"
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The occupation of Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, the entire war (to promote) terror . . . please, please, can these no longer be trotted out in consequence-free abstraction, but as the high-tech malevolence they are, actively continuing the incalculable devastation of countries and their populations?
The bodies keep piling up, the toxic horrors spread. Hasn't anyone in this place ever heard of depleted uranium? Is the health crisis in Iraq and, indeed, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, not to mention Kosovo and among returning vets for the last four American wars, somehow irrelevant to "the course" we're asked to stay?
"Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with two cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney - he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. . . . My wife has nine members of her family with cancer."
This is Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, director of the oncology center at the largest hospital in Basra, speaking in 2003 at a peace conference in Japan. Why is it that only peace activists are able to hear people like this? Why hasn't he been asked to testify before Congress as its members debate the future of this war and the next? (...)
A war crime of unprecedented dimension is unfolding as we avert our eyes. Perhaps it's simply too big to see, or to grasp, so we lull ourselves into the half-belief that the powers that be know what they're doing and it will all turn out for the best. Meanwhile, the contagion spreads, the children die, the planet becomes uninhabitable.
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CONNECTING THE DOTS
A perfect example [of a conspiracy] is the invasion of Iraq in 2003, an invasion that went ahead in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population was opposed to the invasion. It also illustrates the relationship between state policies and conspiracies, for in order to create even the semblance of a justification for the invasion it was necessary to invent reasons. Enter the 'conspiracy'.
"Oil is at the heart of the crisis that leads towards a US war against Iraq. For more than a hundred years, major powers have battled to control this enormous source of wealth and strategic power. The major international oil companies, headquartered in the United States and the United Kingdom, are keen to regain control over Iraq's oil, lost with the nationalization in 1972. Few outside the industry understand just how high the stakes in Iraq really are and how much the history of the world oil industry is a history of power, national rivalry and military force." - 'Oil in Iraq: the heart of the Crisis', James A. Paul, Global Policy Forum, December, 2002. www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2002/12heart.htm
This meant fabricating an entire rationale including the creation of false documents, non-existent connections between Saddam Hussein and 'al-Qu'eda', 9/11 and even other countries such as Niger and the false 'yellowcake' sales.
Colin Powell's Powerpoint presentation to the UN consisted entirely of fabricated evidence purporting to prove that Iraq possessed WMD.
Can this be labelled as a conspiracy? I think so, it meets all the criteria insofar as it consisted of a group of individuals within the state apparatus who conspired together in secret to create a 'threat' that in fact didn't exist in order to further the interests of a specific class. It conspired precisely because what was intended was in fact a criminal act.
Okay, it wasn't a very well hidden conspiracy and in fact could only be sold to the public because the media 'conspired' with the state to sell the lies. Moreover, the media also 'conspired' with the state by hiding the fact from the public that the invasion was and remains a criminal act. This in part explains why the media is so quick to label those who cry 'conspiracy!' as whackos, yet the media has no problem accepting the idea of an 'international terrorist conspiracy'. Not only accepting it but actually participating in promoting it! So it seems that one person's conspiracy is someone else's delusion.
read in full...
>> BEYOND IRAQ
British troops hunting pro-Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan killed 12 militants after repelling a fierce attack on their base
, the military said Thursday.
WATCH US, WIRETAP US, SEARCH US, JAIL US...
What explains the gullibility of Americans, a gullibility that has mired the US in disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and which promises war with Iran, North Korea and a variety of other targets if neoconservatives continue to have their way?
Part of the explanation is that millions of conservatives are thrilled at the opportunity to display their patriotism and to show their support for their country. Bush's rhetoric is perfectly designed to appeal to this desire. "You are with us or against us" elicits a blind and unquestioning response from people determined to wear their patriotism on their sleeves. "You are with us or against us" vaccinates Americans against factual reality and guarantees public acceptance of administration propaganda.
Another part of the explanation is that emotional appeals have grown the stronger as the ability of educated people to differentiate fact from rhetoric declines. The Bush administration blamed 9/11 on foreign intelligence failures; yet, the administration has convinced about half of the public that mass surveillance of American citizens is the solution! (...)
If so many Americans cannot discern that they have acquiesced to conditions from which tyranny can arise, how can they understand that it is statistically impossible for the NSA's mass surveillance of Americans to detect terrorists?
Floyd Rudmin, a professor at a Norwegian university, writing in CounterPunch (May 24, 2006) applies the mathematics of conditional probability, known as Bayes' Theorem, to demonstrate that the NSA's surveillance cannot successfully detect terrorists unless both the percentage of terrorists in the population and the accuracy rate of their identification are far higher than they are. He correctly concludes that "NSA's surveillance system is useless for finding terrorists."
The surveillance is, however, useful for monitoring political opposition and stymieing the activities of those who do not believe the government's propaganda. (...)
In National Socialist Germany, by the time propaganda lost its grip, Germans were in the hands of a police state. It was too late to take corrective measures. Not even the military could correct the disastrous policies of the executive. In the end, Germany was destroyed. Does a similar fate await Americans?
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PENTAGON ON SUPREME COURT'S GITMO RULING: "WHO CARES?"
From the NYT
: "If they rule against the government, I don't see how that is going to affect us," the commander, Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris, said Tuesday evening as he sat in a conference room in his headquarters. "From my perspective, I think the direct impact will be negligible."
The Defense Department repeated that view on Thursday, asserting that the court's sweeping ruling against the tribunals did not undermine the government's argument that it can hold foreign suspects indefinitely and without charge, as "enemy combatants" in its declared war on terror.
So that's OK, then. Naturally, a ruling "against the government," doesn't affect the Pentagon - because Rumsfeld's Castle is a government unto itself, unbound by the petty chains of law that simpering civilians try to put around the lusty sinews of war-fightin' he-men. And of course, as the Pentagon notes, the most important thing is that the Bush Regime can continue its Nazi/Stalinist/al Qaeda/Vlad the Impaler/Ghenghis Khan/ Assyrian/ Babylonian/ Cro-Magnon policy of grabbing "suspects" and holding them "indefinitely without charge."
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DEAR MEDIA: YOU'VE BEEN PLAYED LIKE A '59 GOLDTOP. NOW WHAT?
I hope you all enjoy lying in that bed you've made.
All those years of making excuses for George W. Bush's ineptness, inadequacies, and illegalities have earned you absolutely nothing. You brushed aside his lack of experience and intellectual incuriosity in 1999 and 2000, mostly because you didn't like Al Gore. Your behavoir gave him a much better position from which to steal the 2000 election.
You bought the spin from Bush's minions, ignoring the crisis that was taking place in Florida after the election. You believed every lie they came up with, from 'The votes have been counted and re-counted and re-counted' to 'Al Gore is trying to steal the election,' and you decided that letting Bush take office (in the most literal sense possible) was 'best for the country.'
You papered over the fact that he was scared out of his mind on September 11, 2001 - to the point where he flew to Idaho to hide - in favor of painting him as a 'resolute leader.' You swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, every lie that came out of the White House in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq - in many cases embellishing the lies to make them sound more plausible. (...)
You bought 'Mission Accomplished' by the pound. You cleared the shelves of 'shock and awe,' exhausted the stocks of 'smokin' 'em out,' drank gallons and gallons of GOP Brand Kool-Aid. You 'embedded' youselves with the military and took everything the military told you at face value - even if it directly contradicted reality as we know it.
You reported staged events like the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue as if they were real news events. And even after the American public started to wise up and wipe the terra-dust from their eyes, you still insisted upon calling him a 'popular president.' (...)
You made excuses for his [Bush] illegal spying on the American people. You offered weak justifications for his naked power grab, you laughed off the fact that his second-in-command shot a man in the face.
You made Ann Coulter socially acceptable.
And after all this, Bush and Cheney and Congress and Coulter and every wingnut pundit, whom you've coddled and accomodated every step of the way, show their appreciation how?
They want to muzzle you. They want to imprison you. They want to try you for treason.
Listen up, Rubes. You think that for the past six years you've been part of their crowd, but you haven't. You got suckered, flim-flammed, taken in, jacked, jobbed and jerked around. They took your lunch money. They came in your mouth after promising they wouldn't.
They used you, and now they want to jail you.
I'd feel bad for you, but you know what they say about lying down with dogs. You really should have known better - but nobody ever said you had to be especially smart to be part of the media, and you're all living proof of that fact.
They fucked you. Now, are you gonna fuck back? You might want to consider it.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "The United States is not going to do what the French did ten years ago: cut and run." -- Richard Nixon on Vietnam, 1966