DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, July 21, 2006
: Holding banners that read 'Sunni and Shiite Muslims unite!,' hundreds of protesters gather to denounce the continued Israeli bombing of Lebanon, July 20, 2006, in Samarra. (AP Photo/Hameed Rasheed)
Bring ‘em on
: A Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force died due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province today. (MNF- Iraq)
Bring ‘em on
: Matthew Wallace of Lexington Park was seriously injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Iraq on Sunday. Mr. Wallace is a member of the U.S. Army. Wallace suffered significant burns as a result of the explosion. According to a BLOG that is being maintained by members of his family's church, the Patuxent River Assembly of God (PRAG), doctors don't expect Wallace to survive his injuries. At 07:30a.m. EST, the family chose to unplug Matthew from the ventilator
. He very quickly and peacefully passed away.
Bring ‘em on
: One Salvadoran soldier died Wednesday and another was wounded in a bombing near Kut, southwest of Baghdad, his country's defense minister said. It was the third fatality among Salvadoran troops since the Central American nation sent forces in 2003.
Bring ‘em on
: Two soldiers, a Dane and a Lithuanian, were injured in two separate incidents while on patrol in southern Iraq, the Danish military said Wednesday. Both soldiers were hit in the right shoulder by bullets while on patrol near Basra on Tuesday.
Bring 'em on
: Four Polish soldiers have been injured in an attack on their convoy in Iraq. Doctors describe their condition as stable. Ten terrorists were detained. The attack took place in Wasit province. The terrorists caused an explosion and fired at armoured vehicles of the international South Centre division, which responded with fire and called a rapid reaction force for help. Apart from four Polish soldiers, two troops from Salvador and an interpreter were injured.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Three Iraqi police and three soldiers were killed in a firefight with insurgents in Baghdad.
A government official was shot dead in Baghdad.
Four dead bodies were found bearing signs of torture in Baghdad.
A bomb outside a Sunni mosque killed one worshipper and wounded two more
in the eastern Baghdad suburb of Jadida
Gunmen attacked two Shiite neighborhoods Friday in Mahmoudiya
, prompting Iraqi forces to call for American air support in a clash that killed at least 18 people, the Iraqi army said.
The attacks on Shiite neighborhoods occurred in Mahmoudiya, where 50 people were killed this week in a raid by Sunni gunmen on a market. Most of the victims were believed to be Shiites.
The 18 killed Friday included 11 attackers, four Iraqi soldiers and three police officers, the Iraqi army statement said. [It seems to me they're spinning a classic resistance attack for a sectarian one -- zig]
(near) U.S. forces killed two suspected militants as well as two women and a child in a raid in the Iraqi city of Baquba on Friday
, the military said. Police officers and neighbors said six members of one family were killed when U.S. helicopters rocketed their house. (…)
"The U.S. forces bombed civilian houses in Baquba, killing and wounding civilians," Raad al-Dahlaki, the head of the Baquba provincial council, told Reuters.
Police and neighbors said people in one of several houses that were attacked by U.S. forces and helicopters had mistaken the Americans for hostile Shi'ite militiamen because they were wearing black. As a result they fired on the U.S. troops.
"They saw men who they thought were militiamen coming to harm them and they fired at them and then the Americans responded with shooting and helicopter attacks," Fawzi Ahmed, a relative of the Abdul Hassan family.
One worshipper was killed by a bomb as he went in to midday prayers at a Sunni mosque in Khalis
, 70km north of the capital. Two others were wounded, police said.
Two dead bodies were found on Friday, one of them is for a child, in the city of Kirkuk
, northern Iraq.
The body of an unidentified headless man was found in the southern part of Kirkuk
, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad.
A policeman was gunned down in the centre of Mosul
, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.
The bodies of three Iraqi soldiers in uniform with gunshot wounds, bearing signs of torture, were found in a deserted area about 20 km north of Falluja
, which is 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad.
Saddam Hussein and three of his aides are pursuing a hunger strike they began almost two weeks ago and are risking their health
, defence lawyers said. (…)
"President Saddam Hussein and his (three) co-accused are pursuing their hunger strike which is threatening to jeopardise their health," said a statement by the defence committee sent to AFP in the Jordanian capital. The committee blamed the "American occupation forces" which were the only authority able to take decisions over the detainees.
Last week, US spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Keir Kevin Curry said: "Saddam Hussein and his three co-defendants have now refused meals since their evening meal on July 7."
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
THE ILL-LOGIC OF IRAQ
As the civil war in Iraq has become more overt this past week, the administration would still tell us that we invaded a country three years ago and continue to fight, kill and die there, for good, sound reasons. But somehow those reasons oddly seem not to add up to anything that makes much sense. The illogic seems to permeate the war and the rhetoric surrounding it in so many ways.
We offer but a few questions about the illogic of our invasion of Iraq and continued killing of its citizens, and our own Americans.
1. Why is it that when insurgency attacks go down we are winning the war; but when they go up, the insurgency is desperate?
2. Why is it that if Iraqis are so pleased by their new democracy that we are so generally disliked there?
3. Why is it that in a country with so much oil in the ground that Iraqis cannot buy gasoline at any price and must fill their gas tanks after we do --- even when it's their oil?
4. Why do we say when insurgents bomb mosques that it is “intended to foment sectarian violence and civil war” -- when it already is sectarian violence and civil war?
5. Why is it that we are to honor those who died in Iraq, but our government and our media will not allow us to see those being honored in their flag-draped coffins?
6. Why do we support the Iraqi government and praise them as saviors and bastions of freedom, when they allow their country to be dominated by a foreign invader?
7. Why is the future U.S. Embassy in Iraq the only major construction project that is going well there?
8. Why does the Administration oppose religious control in Iraq but embraces it in our country?
9. Why is freedom to vote and have public discourse more important than freedom from crime, hunger, and disease?
10. Why when “they” kill innocent women and children, it is a matter for outrage, but when we do it, it is “collateral damage” or just part of the price of “liberty?”
11. Why do many U.S. citizens want to end the war because about 2,600 Americans have been killed, rather than because many thousands of Iraqis have been killed?
12. Why do we send more soldiers to be wrongly killed so that previous soldiers did not "die in vain."? Do we honor those killed by drunk drivers by sending more drunk drivers on the road to kill further?
Just yesterday, Washington said Turkey has "the right to protect itself," just as Israel does. But while that means Israel can cross borders to fight and bomb terrorists, Turkey shouldn't consider doing the same with rebel Kurds operating just over the border in Iraq:
Like Ankara, Washington considers the PKK a "terrorist" organisation and has pledged support for Turkish efforts to combat the Kurdish separatist group.
"Terrorism is terrorism everywhere," [Prime Minister] Erdogan said. "It is not possible to agree with a mentality that tolerates country A and displays a different attitude when it comes to country B."
Earlier, US Ambassador Ross Wilson had warned that a cross-border operation against the PKK would be "unwise" and urged Ankara to coordinate its moves with the United States. [....]
Washington argues that its forces in Iraq are overwhelmed by violence in other parts of the country and that military action against the PKK in the north could upset the relative stability of the Kurdish-populated region.
Kinda boggles the mind, eh? It seems we're worried about destabilizing the region, since our troops are too tied up to help because...um...we've destabilized the region.
I love the president. President Vladimir Putin.
At the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, "our" president, George W. Bush, observed, apparently without irony:
"I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing."
Not that Russia should look like America, President Bush allowed. Russia should look like Iraq. Apparently the latter is the new democratic model for the world.
President Putin seemed taken aback by this rather astonishing assertion. He responded,"We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly."
Well, "just wait," replied George Bush.
The two presidents talked on a Saturday. More than 100 people died in Baghdad in the previous Sunday through Tuesday.
And on the succeeding Monday, reported The Washington Post
"Masked attackers with heavy machine guns mounted on pickup trucks slaughtered at least 40 people in a crowded market area south of Baghdad on Monday, hurling grenades to blow up merchants at their counters and shooting down mothers as they fled with their children, witnesses and authorities said."
The next day, according to the Associated Press,
"A suicide car bomber detonated explosives in a crowd of laborers gathered across the street from a major Shi'ite shrine in southern Iraq Tuesday, killing at least 53 people and wounding 105, officials and witnesses said. The attacker drove a minivan to where Shi'ite laborers gather daily to look for work in Kufa, 100 miles south of Baghdad. He offered them jobs, loaded the minivan with volunteers, and then detonated the vehicle."
Democracy at work, Iraq-style. We would all be blessed to live in such a place.
read in full…
VIVA LEBANON... VIVA IRAQ...
History repeats itself, I said within myself as I was watching the news bulletin: same footage, same suffering and almost same attacker for the same reason. Buildings collapse and people die, cry and flee homes. Children are hurt, mothers weep and parents sob. Maybe no one in the world feel what is happening in Lebanon like Iraqis.
Footage of a destroyed beautiful country like Lebanon reminded me with the same footage I saw in Baghdad but in reality, not on TV. Footage of warplanes bombing and destroying one of the most beautiful cities like Beirut also reminded me with the warplanes that destroyed my lovely Baghdad twice, in 1991 and 2003.
Media broadcasted how Lebanese families are fleeing their homes fearing the aggressive strikes reach them. My God! We went through exactly the same thing in 1991 and 2003 when we had to flee our houses fearing the aggression reach us, Iraqi civilians, which actually did. Many families were left homeless, hopeless and sleepless.
I strongly remember how Baghdad looked after the 1991 aggression. It was scary and gloomy and very sad to see. Nothing was left but rubbles of destroyed infrastructure. Bridges, operators, towers, government buildings, and water and oil projects were all destroyed leaving civilians with no chance to live. Even medicine was banned. Wow! History really repeats itself. Lebanon which survived a long fierce civil war has to suffer again and go through the same destruction which the same attacker took part in creating.
read in full...
>> BEYOND IRAQ
Taliban fighters ambushed a Canadian patrol here with rockets and small arms fire
(in Darvishan) as the soldiers attempted to extend coalition control over the town. Canadian forces believe they killed two or three of the five or six Taliban fighters involved in the ambush. There were no Canadian casualties.
Dutch commandos killed 18 enemy fighters who set up positions in rugged hills overlooking a Dutch camp in southern Afghanistan
, the country's military chief said Friday. There were no Dutch casualties during a 10-day mission.
HEZBOLLAH IS THE WILD CARD
Israel will probably not send ground troops into Lebanon to confront Hezbollah. Israel realizes it cannot decisively defeat Hezbollah, as its experience prior to 2000 made painfully obvious.
In fact, the mass murder campaign currently underway in Lebanon has little to do with Hezbollah, as our pro-Israel corporate media tells us, ad nauseam.
Instead, it has to do with "order out of chaos," rendering Arabs and Muslims helpless, destroying their societies. It has to do with balkanizing the Middle East, reducing once organized societies to mutually hostile tribal and ethnic factions, forever at each others throats, and thus exploitable and malleable. It is an updated version of British colonialism, the time-tested divide and conquer strategy.
If you require and example of this, look no further than Iraq where "civil war," externally imposed, works like an acid on the political and social fabric of the country, if indeed you can characterize what remains of Iraq a country. It is devolving into a patchwork of mutually antagonistic factions, tribes, religious sects, a situation created by false flag terrorism straight out of the neocon Pentagon.
Syria is next. (...)
Hezbollah is purely indigenous and any support by Syria or Iran is strictly secondary. In order to decisively defeat Hezbollah-basically a catch-all for Shia-based resistance to Israeli hegemony-hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of Muslims will need be eradicated.
Israel and the Israel First neocons have no problem with this horrific scenario.
Depleted uranium is the slow way to do it, while "small build enhanced radiation weapons" of about one kiloton will be a lot quicker.
read in full...
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: “Iraq has become a monumental blunder no matter what kind of an outcome takes place. Even if our troops finally win in Iraq, we have already lost the war relevant to the far more important objective of securing what might be described as the 'fealty' of Iraq's government and people as well as promoting our friendly and cooperative hegemonic dominance in the world's economy. For we have become demonstrably the single most dangerous 'rogue nation' in the entire world -- so dangerous, in fact, that nobody in power elsewhere (except Hugo Chavez of Venezuela) is quite willing to admit it publicly." -- from Bush Does Iraq: Anatomy of a Failed Operation by Edward Jayne