DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, July 17, 2006
: A woman cries as doctors treat her husband, a victim of gunfire at a open market, Monday, July 17, 2006, at Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital in Iraq. Dozens of heavily armed attackers raided an open air market Monday in a tense town south of Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and wounding 42, police and hospital officials said. Most of the victims were believed to be Shiites. (AP Photo/Samir Mizban) (See below under ‘Mahmudiya’)
Bring 'em on
: A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died from wounds today at approximately 12:55 p.m. after being hit by small-arms fire in western Baghdad earlier in the day. (MNF-Iraq)
Bring 'em on
: A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 4:30 p.m. today when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad. (MNF-Iraq)
Bring 'em on
: A Soldier assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province today. (MNF-Iraq)
Bring 'em on
: The US military on Monday announced the death of two soldiers raising the military's death toll in Iraq since the invasion to 2,547, according to an AFP count based on Pentagon figures. It was the fourth U.S. military fatality in the Baghdad area since Saturday.
Two U.S. soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy in Diwaniya
, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
A bomb killed two people and wounded nine Monday in east Baghdad.
There were conflicting accounts from officials as residents and police reported the sound of clashes continuing and roadblocks thrown up around the town of Mahmudiya
, which lies on the main highway south from Baghdad to the Shi'ite holy cities. The Defence Ministry spokesman in Baghdad said 42 people were killed by two car bombs. The mayor, Muayyad Fadhil, and another resident told Reuters by telephone that gunmen stormed the market from a Shi'ite suburb of Mahmudiya, where the population is mixed between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. A local hospital said it had received 40 bodies and 48 wounded. A local police commander said 55 were dead. And Iraqiya state television ran an unsourced flash putting the toll at 70.
Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Abdul Aziz Mohammed criticised media reports and said 42 had died. Members of parliament from the Shi'ite Islamist faction led by militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr quit Monday's session, describing the Mahmudiya incident as an ambush against a Shi'ite funeral convoy heading between the capital and a traditional cemetery at Najaf. Some said police had failed in their duty.But police Colonel Iyad Mohammed told Reuters from Mahmudiya that a series of explosions, reported by residents, were mortars falling on the town, followed by a rampage by gunmen through the market -- a rare tactic in Iraq against civilian targets, although seen a week ago in Baghdad. He said 55 people were killed and 58 wounded. Mayor Fadhil said: "There was a mortar attack. Then gunmen came from ... the eastern side of the town. They came into the market and opened fire at random on the people shopping."
(update) The local hospital said it took in 56 dead bodies and 67 wounded.
Six people were killed in several incidents in the town of Baquba, north of Baghdad.
Two Ukrainian military specialists were wounded in Iraq on Monday when an improvised mine exploded
, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reports. The press service says the incident occurred at 06:00 near the city of Ad-Divania in the province of Kadisia.
(update) The death toll from the Tuz Khurmatu suicide bombing on Sunday rose to 28
, police said.
Gunmen killed Laith al-Rawi, local leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the main Sunni parties, in Haditha
, 240 km (150 miles) northwest of Baghdad,.
U.S. Commerce Secretary arrived in the Iraqi capital Monday and signed an agreement with the Iraqis to encourage foreign investment
, acknowledging that the country's deteriorating security made that a challenge.
Iraq oil exports were restored last month after a long delay but halted again last week and not expected to resume soon.
Japan has completed the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq.
Saddam Hussein spent a ninth day without food on Sunday
, the U.S. military said, continuing a hunger strike to demand better protection for defence lawyers after a third advocate was killed in Baghdad last month. "There’s no change," said Lieutenant Colonel Keir-Kevin Curry, a spokesman for U.S. military detention operations in Iraq. "Despite their refusal to eat, they’re still deemed to be in good health."
IRAQ WAR COSTS TO TOP VIETNAM AND KOREA
A report released recently by the Congressional Budget Office stated that Iraq war is likely to overtake Korea and Vietnam as the second-most expensive war U.S. fought.
The war in Iraq has so far cost $291 billion and would total almost half a trillion dollars even if the U.S. government decided to pull out all American form Iraq troops by the end of 2009, the nonpartisan CBO analysis added.
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THE IRAQI INVASION
You can notice it everywhere you go in Amman [Jordan]. At shopping malls and supermarkets; at restaurants and coffee shops; at hotels and net cafés; at discos and nightclubs; at bus stops and fruit stands: the signs and symptoms of an Iraqi invasion.
An unofficial estimation by Jordanian authorities, based on residency records, recently put the number of Iraqis inside Jordan at half a million, which in a country of 6 million is, understandably, an alarming trend. All other evidence, however, indicates that actual numbers are much higher. The majority of Iraqis here work around the restrictions of Jordanian immigration laws by paying fines or by staying illegally. (...)
I mentioned that my family was expected to arrive here a few days ago. They made it safely, but they experienced a 12-hour ordeal at the Karama border center on the Iraqi-Jordanian border. (...)
It took my family exactly 24 hours to get here through the land route from Baghdad. They literally collapsed on the floor from stress and exhaustion when they got to my apartment. The ride cost them $700. Now, it's $800 and rising.
My family said that about 120 transport SUVs from Iraq, each carrying 7 passengers, were waiting in queue to enter Jordan that day. That's close to a thousand people. Flights from Baghdad to Amman are all booked until early August. A good deal of those passengers will try not to return, and even if they do, it will be just to get their residencies renewed.
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
WHO'S TRAINING IRAQ'S INSURGENTS? MAYBE IT'S BEST NOT TO ASK
From the Associated Press today [July 14]:
Their televised graduation was supposed to be a moment of national celebration: A class of 1,000 Sunni Arab soldiers emerging from basic training would show Iraqis that the country's worsening religious divide was not afflicting the national army. Two months later, only about 300 of them have reported for duty, U.S. officials say.
. . . It's a problem in many places, particularly Iraq's unstable areas. Iraq's 1st and 7th army divisions in Anbar should have about 10,000 soldiers, but U.S. officers acknowledge the units have only half that.
They haven't given up on the Sunni class of 1,000, however.
"We've put out the message to get them back. We've asked city leaders to help get the message out," said Marine 1st Lt. David Meadows. "It doesn't mean they're lost."
I don't think they're lost at all. They've probably just taken their U.S.-provided training (and a month or two of U.S.-paid salaries) and joined the insurgency.
You'd think they could have at least said thanks.
SERPENT'S EGG: BUSH NURSES NAZI VIPERS IN IRAQ
Over and over, the Bush Regime and its media apologists have peddled the same mendacious line in defense of their war crime in Iraq: "We're fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them over here." But in fact the brutal occupation is actually breeding a cadre of vicious terrorists intent on bringing death and destruction back home to America's streets, using the deadly skills they've learned - in the U.S. military.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of neo-Nazis and "white power" extremists have infiltrated U.S. forces in a deliberate strategy to get training in weapons, urban warfare and covert operations, the Pentagon's own investigators report. These homegrown terrorists - avowed enemies of democracy, committed to sparking the same kind of horrific civil war in America that George W. Bush has spawned in Iraq - have wormed their way into some of most elite military units, as well as filling up the ordinary ranks with cretinous "race warriors." (...)
The infiltration is part of a concerted strategy by the neo-Nazi movement to use Bush's war for terrorist training - much as their extremist brothers in al Qaeda are doing. In skinhead magazines and innumerable websites, they pass along handy hints and exhortations to their cloaked comrades in the field and potential recruits at home. "Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman's war," writes Steven Barry, a former Special Forces officer now serving as "military unit coordinator" for the neo-Nazi National Alliance, the New York Times reports.
"[The race war] will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and 'cleansed,'" writes Barry, as if he were channeling one of the deadly Iraqi militias sponsored by the Bushists in their self-confessed "Salvador Option" - an undercover program named for the right-wing Central American death squads armed and trained by the Reagan-Bush administration in the 1980s, as the New Yorker reports. (...)
The tacit acceptance of neo-Nazis in the military is part of a broader pattern at work in the Bush Imperium: the "mainstreaming" of right-wing extremism in American society, an alarming development well documented by journalist Dave Niewert at Orcinus. White-power advocates once stuck under rocks on the lunatic fringe now appear on network television as respected spokesmen on the "immigration question." High-profile Bush-backers in the mainstream media - Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh and other gasbags - routinely tout "fantasies" of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, and death for "traitors," i.e., anyone who opposes the hard-right line. (...)
In its heedless lust for loot and dominion, the Bush Faction will use anyone: neo-Nazis, neoconservatives, theocrats, dictators, death squads, nutballs, gasbags. The blowback from this nest of vipers will poison American life for generations - but of course the Bushists don't care. America is nothing to them but a cash cow and a billy club. Let the stupid rabble worry about war-trained Nazis in the streets; the Bush elite will be safe and cozy in their gated, guarded mansions.
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FORCE WAS THEIR IDOL
Consider the possibility that the most fundamental belief, perhaps in all of history, but specifically in these last catastrophic years, seems to be in the efficacy of force - and the more of it the merrier. That deep belief in force above all else is perhaps the monotheism of monotheisms, a faith remarkably accepting of adherents of any other imaginable faith - or of no other faith at all. Like many fundamentalist faiths, it is also resistant to drawing any reasonable lessons from actual experience on this planet.
(...) [The Bush administration] believed themselves uniquely in possession of an ability to project force in ways no other power on the planet or in history ever could. While hardly elevating the actual military leadership of the country (whom they were eager to sideline), they raised the all-volunteer US military itself on to a pedestal and worshipped it as the highest tech, most shock-and-awesome institution around. They were dazzled by the fact that it was armed with the smartest, most planet-spanning, most destructive set of weapons imaginable and backed by an unparalleled military-industrial complex as well as a "defense" budget that would knock anyone's socks off (and their communications systems down). It was enough to dazzle the administration's top officials with dreams of global domination; to fill them with a vision of a planetwide Pax Americana; to send them off to the moon (which, by the way, was certainly militarizable).
Force, then, was their idol and they bowed down before it. When it came to the loosing of that force (and the forces at their command), they were nothing short of fervent utopians and blind believers. They were convinced that with such force (and forces), they could reshape the world in just about any way they wanted to fit their visionary desires. (...)
If Bush and his top officials arrived on the Iraqi scene believing that the force was with them and only them, the past three-plus years have offered (if not taught) a rather different lesson. After all, they now find themselves in a roiling crowd of medium-sized and smaller states, stateless movements, and extremist grouplets, all passionately devoted to the same principle of force as them. The fundamentalist belief in force, once let loose in this fashion - once (you might say) modeled by the globe's reigning hyperpower - turns out to be a distinctly pagan faith. From the streets of Gaza to the slums of Baghdad, from the mountains of Afghanistan to Beirut International Airport and the halls of the Pentagon, this is a religion open to one and all, ready to embrace many contradictory gods into its pantheon.
And here's the irony. The hyperpower that loosed this singular round of force on our world seems strangely sidelined, while others move boldly to apply its most essential principles profligately, every one of them emboldened both by the US example and by its dismal failure. Talk about Pandora's box (without Hope anywhere in sight)!
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THE DANGER OF AN UNEQUAL STRUGGLE
Reading the headline of Beirut's Daily Star
of July 13, "Lebanon Under Attack", one is reminded of another military campaign, the US invasion of Iraq. The chief similarity between the two was the tremendous power asymmetry that existed between the US and Iraq then - and between Israel and Lebanon now. (...)
In the post-September 11, 2001 era, using military prowess to cow and pacify Arab defiance and anger has become a common tool of the US and Israel. That has emerged as the first rule of that era. Bush spelled that out in his doctrine of preemption and regime-change even before he invaded Iraq. The military campaign in Iraq was driven by the desire to create "shock and awe", which was aimed at nipping in the bud any aspirations of the Iraqi military to confront or defy the American forces through the use of overwhelming power.
However, the Arab world - or Muslim world, to be precise, because the same thing is also happening in Afghanistan - like the US, is operating under a different rule of the post-September 11 era. This is the second rule of that era. It states that the use of awe-inspiring power begets equally devastating confrontation and resistance.
One side fights with awesome high-tech weapons; while the other side fights with whatever it can get its hands on. The Iraqis (and now the Afghans) did not invent the art of asymmetric warfare, but they seem to be writing a new chapter. In the process, Iraq and Afghanistan are steadily sliding toward mayhem. The "victor" in this war will be the one that has the political capability and resolve to outlast the other side.
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
US, ISRAEL PUSH WORLD TO BRINK OF WORLD WAR
In unleashing an all-out Middle East war with the bombing and blockade of Lebanon, and mounting escalations involving all surrounding countries in the region (Iran, Syria), Israel has committed an act of naked aggression and open fascism that easily rivals the worst acts of Hitler's Third Reich.
In the space of mere hours, the world has been collectively incited, provoked, and dragged into an all-out war that is on course towards potential nuclear super power conflict. (Analysis from independent sources such as Electronic Intifada, Dahr Jamail, and Angry Arab News provide bloody detail on unfolding conditions, as well as historic context.)
What must be underscored and grasped at this historic moment are not simply the atrocities on the part of Israel, but the Bush administration's pathologically sinister actions fanning the flames of this mushrooming war.
• The insane Condoleezza Rice condoned the bombing of Lebanon, and then condemned Syria and Iran, and launched into the "terrorists" talking point mantra, repeatedly. Quoting the sick bitch (and I use the two words studiously and without hyperbole; they are accurately descriptive), "I am not going to try to judge every single act." The fact that this monster is the US Secretary of State is beyond words.
• The insane George W. Bush repeated the same "terrorists" talking point mantra, the same "get Iran and Syria at the same time" memo: "Every nation must defend herself against terrorist attacks and the killing of innocent life."
• The Bush administration and its insane UN Ambassador John Bolton cast the lone vote (1-10) against a UN resolution condemning the Israeli aggression, killing the resolution.
The entire world knows that only the US can stop it. The Bush administration won't. It has only not even bothered to script words that sound like diplomacy, it has purposely congratulated
Israel, which has spectacularly executed the shared 9/11-created policy of presumptive unilateral war against "terrorists" (all political opponents are "terrorists").
Bush neocon maniacs like
what its demented cousins in Tel Aviv have unleashed -- and want more. This comes in the wake of 1) the insane Donald Rumsfeld re-declaring war in the Middle East, reiterating that the US "is not going anywhere"; 2) a terror bombing in Mumbai (Bombay), India that can be traced to US-linked Pakistani terror groups, sparking possible India-Pakistan nuclear conflict; 3) new rounds of provocation towards Iran, and 4) North Korea.
Going back several months to the events that began this specific chain of events in the Middle East, what was the role of Israel and the US in the assassination of Rafik Hariri?
With the actions of Israel and the Bush administration, the words of Hitler burst forth once again: "The victor will not be asked, later on, whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war, it is not Right that matters but Victory. Have no pity."
Could the Israeli aggression be the Bush administration pretext for the bigger Middle East war that the neocons have long dreamed about, with the US and Israel destroying Iran and Syria simultaneously, daring Russia and China to stop them?
Is this the next stage of World War Three (begun on 9/11), or World War Four, a new and truly planetary holocaust?
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "(pause) ‘Ah, the question is, are we winning in Iraq?’ (longer pause) ‘The answer is that we are not losing.’” –- Gen Peter Schoomaker USA Chief of Staff at a news conference in 14 JUL 06