DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2006
: Amnesty International in Switzerland broke a new outdoor campaign. The campaign uses the tagline "It's not happening here but it's happening now", in various languages, from French to German. Using the transparent billboards, the campaign aims to show people what is going on in the world, Iraq, Afghanistan Abu-Ghraib and Guantanamo, even if it's not happening in front of them at the bus stop. [More photos at the link]
Bring ‘em on
: The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on June 17, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during combat operations. Both soldiers were assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, Baumholder, Germany. Killed were: Sgt. Reyes Ramirez, 23, of Willis, Texas and Spc. Robert L. Jones, 22, of Milwaukie, Ore. (DefenseLink)
Bring ‘em on
: Army Spc. Robert Jones, 22, was killed Friday in Baghdad. Kathy Walker, a family friend, told The Oregonian that Jones was hit by mortar and died instantly.
Two California soldiers shot to death in Iraq were murdered by Iraqi civil-defense officers patrolling with them
, military investigators have found. The deaths of Army Spc. Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr. and 1st Lt. Andre D. Tyson were originally attributed to an ambush during a patrol near Balad, Iraq, on June 22, 2004. But the Army's Criminal Investigation Command found that one or more of the Iraqis attached to the American soldiers on patrol fired at them, a military official said Tuesday.
Iraqi troops fired on U.S. soldiers: The deaths of Army Spc. Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr. and 1st Lt. Andre D. Tyson were originally attributed to an ambush during a patrol near Balad, Iraq, on June 22, 2004.
But the Army's Criminal Investigation Command found that one or more of the Iraqis attached to the American soldiers on patrol fired at them, a military official said Tuesday.
A Pentagon spokesman knew of no other similar incident, calling it "extremely rare."
"When they come I have my list of questions ready, and I want these answers and I don't want lies," McCaffrey's mother, Nadia McCaffrey, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Soldiers who witnessed the attack have told her that two Iraqi patrolmen opened fire on her son's unit. The witnesses also said a third gunman simultaneously drove up to the American unit in a van, climbed onto the vehicle and fired at the Americans, she said.
"Nothing is clear. Nothing is clear," she said. Her son was shot eight times by bullets of various calibers, some of which penetrated his body armor, she said. She believes he bled to death.
One of Saddam Hussein's main lawyers was shot to death Wednesday after he was abducted from his Baghdad home by men wearing police uniforms
, the third killing of a member of the former leader's defense team since the trial started some eight months ago. His body was found on a street near the Shiite slum of Sadr City.
A group linked to al Qaeda in Iraq claims it has killed four Russian diplomats
, according to a statement posted on a Web site on Wednesday. The hostages were killed, the statement said, after Moscow did not meet demands to withdraw troops from Chechnya and "release all our brothers and sisters" from prison within 48 hours. The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, assumes the diplomats are still alive, according to a report from the Russian news agency Interfax.
Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Webb, 20, of Swartz Creek, died Tuesday in Iraq.
The Department of Defense has not yet revealed details of his death.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
A parked car bomb exploded near an ice cream shop in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, killing at least three people and wounding eight.
Australian security guards mistakenly opened fire at the bodyguards of Iraqi Trade Minister in western Baghdad, killing one of them and wounding two others
, an Interior Ministry source said. He said that the incident occurred when the Australian security guards were suspicious of armed men outside al-Sudani's office in the restive area.
Gunmen killed the imam of a Sunni mosque on Monday in his house in Shula district
, the Association of Muslim Scholars said in a statement.
Gunmen killed a high school teacher in the same neighbourhood
, the association added.
An Iraqi soldier was killed in fierce clashes in the western district of Baghdad on Wednesday.
A source at the police told KUNA the fierce clashes occurred between the Iraqi army forces and unknown gunmen in Al-Mansour area. The US army-backed Iraqi forces surrounded the area and started exchanging fires with the gunmen killing one soldier, said the source. The size of damage caused by the clashes is still unknown.
An Iraqi patrol stormed a building in Baghdad's Mansour district, detaining 20 people
, after a sniper opened fire on the soldiers, killing one, a witness said.
Gunmen abducted dozens of Iraqi factory workers on Wednesday as they were being ferried home after work in a fleet of buses just north of Baghdad.
Five busloads of employees of the state-owned Great Victory factory at Taji were commandeered by dozens of gunmen in at least five cars. One source put the number of people kidnapped at 80 to 100, another at 100 or more.
Two policemen were killed in Hit.
Authorities say gunmen killed one officer as he was standing near his house.
Gunmen kidnapped three relatives of the deputy governor of Salaheddin province.
Two policemen were killed in Mosul.
Authorities say the other officer died during clashes with insurgents in Mosul.
16 bullet-riddled bodies were found in various Mosul neighborhoods over the past 24 hours.
Ten of them were identified as soldiers, police, traders and a former Iraqi army officer under Saddam Hussein.
Unidentified gunmen stormed a school in Basra and assassinated its director in front of students,
and then fled.
The deputy chief of the Sunni Endowment religious organisation in Basra was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near his car.
An Iraqi civilian was killed and another two got injured when a left-over-bomb exploded in Batofa area
near the Iraqi-Turkey borders.
DoD Announces Units for Next Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation
: III Corps Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas: II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
BRITISH TROOPS FACING INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS SECURITY SITUATION IN BASRA
Painting a gloomy picture of British-controlled southern Iraq, Lieutenant General Nick Houghton, Britain's chief of joint operations, also told the Commons defence committee that it would be "some time" before Britain could hand over responsibility to Iraq for defending the country's crucial oil producing region in the northern Gulf. Describing the situation as "worrying" he said provincial elections in the region, originally planned for the summer, would probably have to be delayed until the autumn.
The general's assessment was in contrast with recent upbeat comments about the security situation in Iraq by Tony Blair.
read in full…
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, opened its annual conference on international strategy with a speech from the Navy Secretary in a vast hall, followed by a panel on American power composed of three scholars, all of whom had opposed the war in Iraq. (…)
[John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago] told the audience that when he was a teenager, he had enlisted in the Army. Then he'd spent 1966-1970 at West Point. (…)
"I remember once in English class we read Albert Camus's book The Plague. I didn't know what The Plague was about or why we were reading it.
"But afterwards the instructor explained to us that The Plague was being read because of the Vietnam War. What Camus was saying in The Plague was that the plague came and went of its own accord.
"All sorts of minions ran around trying to deal with the plague, and they operated under the illusion that they could affect the plague one way or another. But the plague operated on its own schedule. That is what we were told was going on in Vietnam.
"Every time I look at the situation in Iraq today, I think of Vietnam, and I think of The Plague, and I just don't think there's very much we can do at this point. It is just out of our hands.
"There are forces that we don't have control over that are at play, and will determine the outcome of this one. I understand that's very hard for Americans to understand, because Americans believe that they can shape the world in their interests.
"But I learned during the Vietnam years when I was a kid at West Point, that there are some things in the world that you just don't control, and I think that's where we're at in Iraq."
read in full…
DID THE U.S. INVADE IRAQ TO MAKE SURE ITS OIL RESERVES STAYED UNDER THE SAND?
World oil production today stands at more than twice the 15-billion a-year maximum projected by Shell Oil in 1956 -- and reserves are climbing at a faster clip yet. That leaves the question, Why this war?
Did Dick Cheney send us in to seize the last dwindling supplies? Unlikely. Our world's petroleum reserves have doubled in just twenty-five years -- and it is in Shell's and the rest of the industry's interest that this doubling doesn't happen again.
The neo-cons were hell-bent on raising Iraq's oil production.
Big Oil's interest was in suppressing production, that is, keeping Iraq to its OPEC quota or less.
This raises the question, did the petroleum industry, which had a direct, if hidden, hand, in promoting invasion, cheerlead for a takeover of Iraq to prevent overproduction?
It wouldn't be the first time.
read in full…
IF A FOREIGN NATION INVADED THE U.S.A WE WOULD BE CALLED INSURGENTS
If a foreign nation invaded the U.S.A. , then there would be a need for some people to stand up to the foreign invaders, like the movie Red Dawn.
We would not need the military, we would just be a bunch of small units of civilians in every town , (here is where the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights applies) we would be called insurgents, and we would take out the foreign invaders any way we could, and that is exactly what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Therefore , there is no need for any American citizen to join the military, and this should be the goal for all of us fighting the NWO and the globalists, to stop the military from recruiting in our hometowns and in our schools.
Anybody who is currently in the military should quit and after facing the wrath of the State, then they could take up a decent and moral way to make a living and provide for their families.
read in full…
THE FACADE OF SHI'ITE UNITY CRUMBLING
The violent demonstrations in Basra, Iraq's second city, last week, which led to the destruction of the newly opened Iranian consulate, surprisingly received no more than a passing mention in the Arab and Western press.
The incident could be seen as a chilling reminder of the 1979 storming of the US Embassy in Tehran during the Islamic revolution, with the Iranians getting a dose of their own medicine.
The demonstrations were led by Shi'ite followers of anti-Iranian Ayatollah Mahmud al-Hasani, making the event particularly strange since everybody has the perception that the Shi'ites - all Shi'ites - are loyal to Iran.
This is what King Abdullah II of Jordan says. This is what Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said earlier this year in an interview with Al-Arabiyya TV, causing an uproar within the Shi'ite community of Iraq. He said that the Shi'ites of the Arab world were more loyal to Iran than they were to their respective countries.
The demonstrations in Basra proved the Egyptian president wrong.
Hasani is a Karbala-based cleric who is known in Iraq for his loud anti-Americanism and anti-Iranism. His ultimate goal, like all men of religion, is to establish an Iran-like Islamic theocracy in Iraq, but independent of Iranian influence.
He has never welcomed Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs, or the great influence that the mullahs of Tehran have over politicians inside the Iraqi Shi'ite community. His supporters, which included many women, stormed the Iranian consulate, destroying parts of it, setting fire to its annex, then bringing down the Iranian flag and replacing it with the Iraqi one.
The residents of Basra, although Shi'ite, still cannot forget or forgive Iran for repeatedly shelling their city during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988. This time, their anger was a result of an offensive remark, made by a Shi'ite cleric from Lebanon named Ali Kourani, on Iranian satellite TV.
read in full…
MEANS AND ENDS
At the moment, Iraq is not sovereign-the fact that a foreign leader can surprise Iraq's prime minister by dropping in unannounced, as President Bush did last week, shows where sovereign power lies.
The freedom Iraqis most prize amid escalating violence is flight to other countries: Iraq was the world's largest exporter of refugees in the past year, with 644,000 Iraqis seeking refuge in Syria and Jordan alone.
With monthly killings up 50 percent in the past year, insurgent attacks up 28 percent, incidents of sectarian violence up twelve-fold, Iraq is not yet becoming more secure. And Iraqi unity remains elusive, as continued Sunni resistance and bitter political infighting underscore.
The president's ambassador in Baghdad this month cabled to Washington depressing accounts of intensifying Islamist intimidation. The United States, he reported, "is widely perceived as fully controlling the country and tolerating the malaise"; middle class circles "increasingly disapprove of the coalition presence"; "the central government, our [Iraqi] staff says, is not relevant"; and the embassy's Iraqi staffers "ask what provisions we would make for them if we evacuate."
Disdaining such concerns as defeatism, the House Republican leadership described their expansive Iraq mission as integral to the "global war on terror." The war's supporters declared they would set no "arbitrary" date for withdrawal from Iraq, and called on other nations to join the U.S. coalition.
That coalition, however, is unraveling. Japan today is rushing to follow Italy out the door, and Korea and even Britain are edging toward the exit.
read in full…
DOING HARD WORK IN IRAQ
Bush said last night that "right now we're doing hard work in Iraq." Which is funny because he wasn't actually in Iraq but in Washington DC at something called the President's Dinner Gala (Gala >noun. A festive entertainment or performance. From the Old French galer 'to make merry'.) I guess there's hard work and then there's hard
Speaking of hard work in Iraq, I'm so looking forward to hearing exactly how those two soldiers - no, let's give them their names, Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker - were tortured and killed. I'm sure this won't make American soldiers even more trigger-happy.
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GETTING BETTER AND BETTER
They really are one-trick ponies, these guys. Anytime one of their wars goes wrong - the enemy grows stronger, more civilians die - they claim it's the "last throes," desperation, one last wild toss of the dice, etc. The worse things get, the better they're about to get; this has been the constant refrain throughout the Iraq fiasco, and, as Afghanistan - the forgotten but uncompleted war - heats up further, we'll hear it again and again from there as well. - And of course, if any of their wars ease up - there's a lull in the chaos and bloodshed, a big honcho (real or hyped) is captured or killed, some cosmetic political "milestone" is reached - then that too means that everything is getting better. No matter what happens - more fighting, less fighting; more chaos, less chaos - every day and every way things are getting better and better.
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
A roadside bomb hit a military convoy Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, injuring four Canadian soldiers
, the military said. The explosion occurred in the Shahwali Kot district of Kandahar province, said coalition spokesman Maj. Quentin Innis. One of the soldiers was seriously wounded, he said.
A bomb fixed to a tanker supplying fuel to US forces in Afghanistan exploded as the vehicle crossed over from Pakistan, killing six people and destroying 10 trucks.
Scores of British paratroopers were airlifted into a mountainous Afghan town to regain control after reports the Taliban had seized it and massacred 32 civilians
: The troops are part of U.S.-led Operation Mountain Thrust, the biggest offensive in Afghanistan since the war began.
FREEDOM, AIN'T IT GRAND
The Afghan secret police have issued an order that journalists may not criticize American and other foreign troops, may not portray the Afghan military as weak, may not interview or film insurgent leaders, may not make militant activities their lead story. Journalists were called to a meeting and issued their new marching orders.
read in full…
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "The vulnerability of the US position in Baghdad is so great that the Iraqi military units guarding the perimeter of the Green Zone, the heart of US power in Iraq, are now considered untrustworthy." -- excerpt from "The Embassy Document", a leaked cable from the US embassy in Iraq to Condoleezza Rice published by the Washington Post last Sunday