DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2006
: Family members breakdown while identifying bodies at the local morgue, Wednesday, July 12, 2006, in Muqdadiyah, 90 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP photo/Adam Hadei) (See below under 'Muqdadiyah')
Bring 'em on
: Michigan Army National Guard Sgt. Duane Dreasky, who suffered burns over 75 percent of his body during an attack in Iraq, died in a Texas military hospital after an eight-month fight for his life. He had been living a life-long dream of serving his country when the Humvee in which he was riding near al-Habbaniyah, Iraq, was hit by an improvised explosive device on Nov. 21, 2005.
A suicide bomber walked into a restaurant in New Baghdad district and blew himself up, killing seven people and wounding 20.
The bomber's body disintegrated in the blast.
Gunmen killed a Baghdad University professor on Tuesday in the western Mansur district.
Three civilians, including a child, were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a police patrol in northern Baghdad.
(N. of) Gunmen attacked an army patrol to the north of the capital, wounding four soldiers.
Ten people, including a policeman and a woman, were injured in a car explosion targeting a police checkpoint in south Baghdad.
Clashes erupted between Iraqi policemen and gunmen in the district of Um al-Maalif in southern Baghdad, killing one civilian and one policeman.
Two police cars were burnt.
Gunmen ambushed a bus station in Muqdadiyah, kidnapping two dozen people and killing all but four.
The attackers drove up in several cars and seized 24 people from the bus station in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. Iraqi Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Awad, the commander of the army's 5th division in the area, told state TV that 20 bodies had been found and the victims were Shiites. He said four people were rescued. Police confirmed that 20 bodies were found but said their identities were uncertain.
"There was a very serious breach of security in Diyala province when 60-80 Shiites were kidnapped from the bus station in Muqdadiyah," [Senior Shiite MP Jalaleddin al-Saghir] said. "The police appear to be complicit in this incident because they pulled out of the area right before the kidnapping," he added, echoing a charge more commonly raised by the minority Sunni community against the security forces.Hasswa:
One civilian was killed and six were wounded when a car bomb exploded near an Iraqi army headquarters in the town of Hasswa
, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad.
Gunmen on a motorcycles killed a taxi driver in an attack in Kut
, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Gunmen on a motorcycles killed a former member of the ousted Baath Party in Kut.
A bomb exploded near a private clinic owned by the wife of the Governor of Salahaddin, killing her and wounding two of her aides in Tikrit.
The bodies of two carpenters were found with gunshot wounds in Tikrit.
One policeman was killed when gunmen shot at a police patrol in central Tikrit.
A body with gunshot wounds and signs of torture was found near Kirkuk,
250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad,
Gunmen killed a policeman in Kirkuk.
Police patrols in Kirkuk found an explosive device that blew up killing an Iraqi woman.
Unidentified militants opened fire against a civilian vehicle and two civilians working for an oil company were killed in Kirkuk.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead an unidentified man in Kirkuk, where also a policeman was wounded by unidentified militants' fire.
Unknown gunmen killed three Shiite Kurds in Ansar neighborhood of Mosul.
Insurgents gunned down a medical worker, showering the victim with bullets in Zahra neighborhood of Mosul, killing him and another civilian instantly.
Severe clashes erupted between Iraqi police and army forces on one side and gunmen on the other in Sukkar neighborhood of Mosul.
A gunman was killed and another was wounded, who was detained by Iraqi security forces.
Iraqi Police arrested three armed groups in Mosul this week.
19 dead bodies were found in several areas in Mosul this week.
"A group linked to al-Qaida" has released a video purporting to show the bodies of two US soldiers who were captured and killed in Iraq
: The Mujahideen Shura Council said it issued the video as revenge for the rape and killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, allegedly by American troops from the same regiment as the dead soldiers.
Condemning the video, the US military said yesterday that it demonstrated "the barbaric and brutal nature of the terrorists and their complete disregard for human life". [So, the United States is also barbaric and brutal and also disregards human life, but we run our torture camps on a much larger scale. -- Empires Fall blog]
The film, which is just over four-and-a-half minutes long, shows the bodies of two western-looking men dressed in camouflage uniforms. One of them, partially naked, had been beheaded and his chest cut open. The other's face was bruised, his jaw apparently broken, and his leg had long gashes. Fighters were shown turning the bodies over and lifting the head of the decapitated man.
According to the Site Institute, which monitors extremist activity on the internet, the "extremely graphic footage" was preceded by an audio clip from a previous speech by Osama bin Laden, and a recording of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the assassinated leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was heard over the scenes showing the corpses.
"We present this production, of the remains of the bodies of the two American soldiers kidnapped near Yusufiya, as revenge for our sister whose honour was violated by a soldier from the same regiment," the Mujahideen Shura Council said in a statement accompanying the video.
Fliers signed by "the al-Qaida-linked umbrella group" the Mujahedeen Shura Council were circulated in a predominantly Sunni area north of Baghdad, urging Shiite families not to flee and warning people not to hurt members of the majority sect.
Iraq's prime minister warned television stations against broadcasting reports that incite violence
, saying he will not hesitate to shut them down. The statement by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Iraq's parliament came amid an increase of biased reporting by Shiite and Sunni television stations that focus on the suffering of their communities - often with little mention of the other. (...)
In August 2004, the government closed the Baghdad news office of Al-Jazeera television, accusing the station of inciting violence. The office is still closed but the station operates in the Kurdish-ruled area of the north.
"Yesterday, when I was in Kurdistan, the Al-Jazeera correspondent asked me a question. But I told him that I will not reply because we have position against Al-Jazeera," al-Maliki said. "I blame my brothers in Kurdistan to allow Al-Jazeera to work although it is banned from that because it incites sectarianism day and night in Iraqi circles."
[Editors note "The dark lord com'ith"] U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld paid an unannounced visit to Iraq Wednesday.
U.S. Army will discontinue its multi-billion dollar contract with Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide
, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Halliburton, formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, has drawn scrutiny for its work in Iraq from auditors, congressional Democrats and the Justice Department, which is investigating potential overcharges for fuel, dining and laundry services.
A "WESTERN PLAN AIMED AT SPONSORING A CIVIL AND SECTARIAN WAR BETWEEN BROTHERS"
Sadr's group rejected accusations by minority Sunni leaders and police that it was behind killings in the mainly Sunni Jihad district of west Baghdad on Sunday, when bands of gunmen set up roadblocks and hauled people with Sunni-sounding names from cars to shoot them. They also killed others in streets and homes.
Sadr, whose supporters have waged two rebellions against U.S. forces in Iraq, blamed Sunday's violence on a "Western plan aimed at sponsoring a civil and sectarian war between brothers."
Sadr City political leaders announced they were suspending their cooperation with U.S. forces and Iraqi troops following a massive raid Friday meant to capture a militia leader in the Baghdad slum.
Sheik Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, a senior official of the Sadrist movement, denied the Mahdi army was involved.
He said the attackers put on black uniforms, which are often worn by Sadrists, to provoke sectarian tension.
link to excerpt
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The proximate cause of the violence in Baghdad is the attempt by the American occupation and the Green Zone Government to reestablish control over Baghdad.
To achieve this goal they mounted several operations against the Mehdi Army Militia which is (very loosely) under the control of Muqdata al-Sadr. The broader aim is to remove or at least severely diminish his power base. As might be expected in any operation involving artillery and air strikes in a very densely populated area there were many civilian casualties. Baghdad's Shia population (particularly in Sadr city) already feel themselves under siege, and as anybody with a shred of sense could have predicted Baghdad as a whole erupted. Armed gangs stormed neighbourhoods seeking victims for revenge attacks. Repeated frantic efforts by clergy on all sides to rein in the violence have so far proved ineffective. I expect this situation to continue.
Rape. The latest of American atrocities. Though it's not really the latest- it's just the one that's being publicized the most. The poor girl Abeer was neither the first to be raped by American troops, nor will she be the last. The only reason this rape was brought to light and publicized is that her whole immediate family were killed along with her. Rape is a taboo subject in Iraq. Families don't report rapes here, they avenge them. We've been hearing whisperings about rapes in American-controlled prisons and during sieges of towns like Haditha and Samarra for the last three years. The naiveté of Americans who can't believe their 'heroes' are committing such atrocities is ridiculous. Who ever heard of an occupying army committing rape??? You raped the country, why not the people?
In the news they're estimating her age to be around 24, but Iraqis from the area say she was only 14. Fourteen. Imagine your 14-year-old sister or your 14-year-old daughter. Imagine her being gang-raped by a group of psychopaths and then the girl was killed and her body burned to cover up the rape. Finally, her parents and her five-year-old sister were also killed. Hail the American heroes... Raise your heads high supporters of the 'liberation' - your troops have made you proud today. I don't believe the troops should be tried in American courts. I believe they should be handed over to the people in the area and only then will justice be properly served. And our ass of a PM, Nouri Al-Maliki, is requesting an 'independent investigation', ensconced safely in his American guarded compound because it wasn't his daughter or sister who was raped, probably tortured and killed. His family is abroad safe from the hands of furious Iraqis and psychotic American troops.
It fills me with rage to hear about it and read about it. The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors. I look at them and wonder just how many innocents they killed and how many more they'll kill before they go home. How many more young Iraqi girls will they rape?
read in full...
WHEN IS A 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL A 'WOMAN'?
Ever since the case of the raping and killing of an Iraqi and the alleged murder of three of her family members by U.S. troops went public, the age of the rape victim had been in dispute, ranging from about 15 to 25. Two days ago, Reuters and others news agencies produced proof that she was 14, based on a passport and identity card. Most news organizations then started calling her a girl -- but some persist in referring to her as a "woman."
The girl was apparently born August 19, 1991. Yet a widely published AP story today by Robert H. Reid repeatedly referred to the girl, whose last name was al-Janabi, as a "young Iraqi woman" and later again as a "woman." The story was in reference to the gag order being requested by attorneys of Steven D. Green, an ex-soldier who is one of the men charged with the rape and murders. It begins: "An al-Qaida-linked group posted a Web video today purporting to show the mutilated bodies of two Fort Campbell soldiers, claiming it killed them in revenge for the rape-slaying of a young Iraqi woman by American troops from the same unit."
A separate AP story today by Juan Lozano, on the soldiers' families defending them, also refers to the girl as a "young woman."
In today's Washington Post
, an article by Joshua Partlow refers to the teenager as an "Iraqi woman." USA Today continues to feature the AP "young woman" story. The CNN site calls the victim a "young female" and a "woman." A CNN report aired Tuesday by Nic Robertson continued to refer to the child as a "young woman."
Yet a full day earlier, and again today, The New York Times
was calling her a "girl." The Los Angeles Times
today referred to her as a "teenage Iraqi" and later as a "teen." Bloomberg used "girl" and McClatchy's dispatch chose "teenager." Reuters simply stated her age: 14.
But Jim Lehrer on his PBS "NewsHour" last night referred to her a "woman." At the CBS News site today, a joint CBS/AP story uses "young woman."
Other stories today continue to offer caveats, claiming that the age of the young victim was "in dispute." The Reid AP story referred to an FBI affidavit concerning Green's charges, which estimated al-Janabi to be about 25. The article went on to say that "a doctor at the Mahmoudiya hospital gave her age as 14. He refused to be identified for fear of reprisals." The AP story does not mention the Reuters release of al-Janabi's passport and the other supporting documents.
An AP wire photo published with many of the stories does refer to the victim as a "girl."
"I NOW UNDERSTAND HOW WAR CRIMES HAPPEN."
Andrew Sapp made up his mind last year while he was outside the Iraqi town of Baiji.
A staff sergeant with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, he had long opposed the war in Iraq, but not publicly.
Standing in a guard tower on Aug. 9, 2005, Sapp saw a flash in the sky.
"A moment later the ground shook. It really shook," Sapp, who lives in Billerica, told a group of about 75 summer session students at Phillips Academy last night.
Two roadside bombs had exploded nearby, Sapp said. The second, meant for a tank, hit an American Humvee. The gunner on the vehicle was thrown 50 feet but survived. Four others, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, died.
"They had to pick pieces of them out of trees," Sapp told the high school-age students.
The stress of the memory was enough to drive feelings of intense anger through his mind and send Sapp into counseling.
"All I wanted to see was the town of Baiji leveled," he told the group. "I now understand, very well, how war crimes happen."
Sapp's story hushed the students as he told them about an organization he has joined, Iraq Veterans Against the War which was started in Boston.
read in full...
ON THE STREETS WITH OPERATION NOWHERE FAST
From Reuters today:
Private Uday Abdullah is one of 50,000 Iraqi troops and police sent on to Baghdad's streets last month to make the city safe -- but he does not see the point.
Lounging in the shade to escape the midday heat on Tuesday, the soldier said it is gunmen from rival Shi'ite and Sunni parties with clout in the government who rule the streets.
"We arrest lots of gunmen and they just walk free the next day. They're always from the Mehdi Army or the Badr Brigade or the Islamic Party. So what's the point of our job?" he said.
Many in Baghdad wonder the same thing as checkpoints set up as part of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's crackdown on violence spawn ever greater traffic jams but have failed to prevent dozens dying in sectarian shootings and bombings this week.
. . . Raed Abd al-Hafudh Saleem, a lieutenant in Baghdad's traffic department, is equally bemused and cynical.
From his concrete booth in the middle of a busy intersection in upmarket Mansour, he has a clear view of the many vehicles carrying heavily armed men that speed past every day.
"I don't know who these people are. I can't stop them because they never hesitate to point their guns at me."
Hmmmm... if the police aren't willing to stop groups of armed men in the first place, and those who are taken into custody are immediately released, I think we may have a clue why the violence in Baghdad has kept on raging out of control. Call it a hunch.
40 MASSACRED IN BAGHDAD, US DOES NOTHING
You probably already heard about this.
In Baghdad today, at least 40 Sunnis were picked up by a false police checkpoint. As soon as they were identified as Sunnis, they were shot dead.
They were picked up by Shiites, the group that runs the US-supported puppet deathsquad dictatorship. That's right, yet again the United States is supporting a death squad regime. IMAGINE THAT.
This occurred in Baghdad not five miles from the Green Zone ostensibly controlled by the United States.
According to witnesses, the killing went on for eight hours, and it's probable that the death toll will rise far higher. Witnesses were unable to reach any of the security forces whose task it is to prevent this sort of thing.
A good question might be: where were the police when this was happening?
Another good question might be: What the fuck is going on over there that gunmen can massacre dozens of people in broad daylight so near the heart of the American zone of control?
What the fuck?
It's now escalated into civil war, pure and simple. Even Cheney has referred to it as a civil war. This means that all the mealy-mouthed pollyanna prevarications of the rightwinger set came to nothing, just like I said they would.
The country is smashed into smithereens. The situation is not getting better; in fact it's deteriorating rapidly just as it is in Afghanistan. Anyone who believes the lies to the contrary needs to remove head from ass. There is going to be lawless sectarian bloodletting in Iraq for the forseeable future. It is going to be a breeding ground for terrorism and a lab for insurgency technology. Al Qaeda have been having a recruiting field day for the last four years, due to rolling crescendos of fuckups by Dumbfuck George and his Funky Bunch.
Now what, Georgie Boy? Got any bright ideas, genius? Maybe you can play dressup in your flight suit with the padded crotch and line up the real soldiers for your Mission Accomplished photo-op.
Now they're going to say it's all the fault of the liberals. Too bad, right wing cocksuckers, we were warning you all along.
But did you listen? OHHHHHH, NOOOOOOOOOO. Not you. You were too smart for us, weren't ya?
ONE EXPLANATION FOR THE DISCREPANCY
The discrepancy between the number of killed American soldiers that are officially announced by DoD and CentCom (2544 as of July 10, 2006) and the higher numbers that are claimed by the Iraqi Resistance reports that quote eye witnesses and filmed video clips of IED attacks, one explanation might very well be that there are hundreds who are serving with the American occupation forces who are not American citizens. These freelancers are wearing US military uniforms but aren't really Americans (their families are overseas) so their deaths won't be reported by CentCom. Note what occurs every year in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan:
-"More than 100 service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan became the newest American citizens in naturalization ceremonies on Independence Day. In Afghanistan, 27 Soldiers from 17 countries took the oath of citizenship. In Iraq, 75 service members from 29 countries also took the oath." Deployed Soldiers become U.S. citizens on Independence Day July 5, 2006
- "CAMP VICTORY , Iraq -- One hundred forty-three candidates from 42 different countries held up their right hands during a U.S. Army and Citizenship and Immigration Services-led ceremony in the Al-Faw Palace rotunda July 25." Naturalization ceremony held at Victory July 25, 2005
read in full...
>> BEYOND IRAQ
Two U.S. soldiers have been wounded in a suicide car bomb attack on their convoy in eastern Afghanistan.
A local official says a boy playing nearby was killed and three other children were wounded. He says injuries to the soldiers are not serious.
Israeli warplanes attacked a Palestinian guerrilla base 10 miles south of Beirut
, their closest raid yet to the Lebanese capital. Lebanese security officials confirmed the strike. Hezbollah militants crossed into Israel on Wednesday and captured two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded in southern Lebanon with warplanes, tanks and gunboats, and said seven of its soldiers had been killed in the violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the soldiers' capture "an act of war," and his Cabinet prepared to approve more military action in Lebanon - a second front in the fight against Islamic militants by Israel, which already is waging an operation to free a captured soldier in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Israel began calling up reserve troops on Wednesday, signaling a large-scale campaign to retrieve the two soldiers, Israel's Channel 10 television said. The report added that a reserve infantry division had been mobilized and was expected to be sent to Israel's northern border with Lebanon. The Israeli army said three soldiers were killed in the initial Lebanon raid, and four others were killed when their tank went over a land mine in southern Lebanon.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "Many Iraqis are now calling the embargo years, 'The Golden Years,' compared to post-invasion Iraq." -- Malcom Lagauche