Saturday, July 22, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2006
“We got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.”
Iraqi forces backed by a
Seven Shiites died in a drive-by shooting near
An Iraqi police patrol was targeted by a bombing in eastern
Two rockets exploded Saturday in the heavily guarded Green Zone, which includes the
Gunmen opened fire on workers in a house in western
An insurgent attack killed five people in
Gunmen attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi base in
One civilian was killed in the crossfire when masked gunmen attacked Iraqi police in
Three gunmen died in a firefight with police in
Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi man in the city of
Three people were killed and five were injured in a bombing and shooting in the market in Baquba.
Three policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb targeting their patrol exploded in Baquba.
Four policemen and three civilians were killed when a roadside bomb went off in a local market in Baquba.
A curfew was imposed on
An Iraqi soldier was killed by a bomb at his home in Hillah, south of
Six people were wounded by a bomb at the bus station in Musayyib.
A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army convoy exploded in the city of
A child was killed and another six civilians were wounded Saturday in mortar shell attacks targeting a residential compound in Talaafar in west
Unidentified armed men kidnapped an Iraqi civilian in the northern Iraqi city of
Another suicide?: A
Car ban: The Iraqi military extended its weekly vehicle ban in
Officials extended the ban by four hours to prevent car bomb attacks against worshippers at weekly prayer services. Despite the ban, a bomb killed one person and wounded two others at a Sunni mosque in the capital.
Change of plan: The U.S. command had drawn up plans to reduce the number of
A distinction I fail to grasp: The top American commander for the Middle East said Friday that the escalating sectarian violence in
“The situation with sectarian violence in
Amnesty proposals: Saturday, a government committee formed to reconcile
The Supreme National Committee for Reconciliation and National Dialogue convened behind the blast walls and barbed wire of the Green Zone in
After the meeting, al-Maliki, a Shiite, told reporters that despite his proposal for amnesty for some insurgents, "all those whose hands were tainted with blood should be brought to justice."
But the Sunni speaker of parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said "if we punish a person who killed an American soldier, who is an occupier, we should punish the American soldiers who killed an Iraqi who fought against occupation."
Security concerns: At her home in central
In Rasafah district, a police captain says he and colleagues are contemplating mass resignations in frustration over mistrust from US forces and orders from Iraqi politicians to release known criminals.
In the once fashionable Mansoor shopping district, metal grates are drawn over half of the businesses. And in Karada, one of
In Baghdad and across much of the center and south of the country, the rhythms of normal life and commerce are rapidly breaking down in a sign that US and Iraqi government plans to build an effective security force are faltering. Reports of police standing aside as civilians get attacked are common, as are claims by survivors that government security forces, infiltrated by sectarian militias, took part in the killings.
Refugees: Tens of thousands of Iraqis have fled their homes in fear as sectarian violence has turned ever more bitter since a U.S.-backed national unity government was formed two months ago, official data showed on Thursday.
A day after the
"We consider this to be a dangerous sign," ministry spokesman Sattar Nowruz told Reuters, acknowledging that many more people fled abroad or quietly sought refuge with relatives rather than sign up for official aid or move into state camps.
The increase took to 27,000 families -- some 162,000 people -- the number who have registered for help with the ministry in the five months since the February 22 bombing of a Shi'ite shrine at
War on bakers: The front line in this city's sectarian war runs through Edrice al-Aaraji's backyard. He is a Shiite and a baker. So are his two brothers.
For the past year, Sunni Arab militants have swept through their old neighborhood, a heavily Sunni district in northwest
Now, out of 11 bakeries in the area, northern Ghaziliya, just one, the Sunni-owned Al Obeidi on
"To shut down a well-known bakery in a neighborhood, that means you paralyze life there," Aaraji said, sitting in a bakery in a Shiite neighborhood where he now works and usually sleeps. As the most basic of local institutions,
But 14 provinces are pacified!: U.S. officials have long pointed to relative peace in many of Iraq’s 18 provinces, dismissing the insurgency as a problem limited to Baghdad and sparsely populated Sunni Arab areas to the west and north.
With the stakes high, al-Maliki last month unveiled a much-heralded security plan for
But with surging attacks in the capital — including the kidnappings of Iraqi officials — leading politicians from Shiite and Sunni parties have declared the plan a failure. The United Nations said this week that about 6,000 civilians were killed in May and June, many of them in sectarian violence.
News From The Home Front
Supplying them here so we don’t have to supply them over there: Undercover government investigators purchased sensitive surplus military equipment such as launcher mounts for shoulder-fired missiles and guided missile radar test sets from a Defense Department contractor.
Much of the equipment could be useful to terrorists, according to a draft report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
In June, two GAO investigators spent $1.1 million on such equipment at two excess property warehouses. Their purchases included several types of body armor inserts used by troops in
"The body armor could be used by terrorists or other criminal activity," noted the report, obtained Friday by The Associated Press. "Many of the other military items have weapons applications that would also be useful to terrorists."
Thousands of items that should have been destroyed were sold to the public, the report said. Much of the equipment was sold for pennies on the dollar.
Compassionate conservatism - 100 dead a day is “old ground” and a “bad summer rerun”: Declaring that he believes the situation in
The Nevada Democrat said he has been "somewhat gingerly approaching this.... No longer. There is a civil war going on in
Republicans questioned why Reid wants to go over old ground and were ready to highlight the divisions among Democrats once again.
"Talk about your bad summer reruns," said Eric Ueland, Chief of Staff to Majority Leader Bill Frist, "if they want to do that we'll go to the mats," he said.
Digby: I know it seems ridiculous in light of what we are seeing in
The defining issue: Voter unrest over the war in
The Defense Department says that reports of sexual assaults involving members of the armed forces rose 40 percent in 2005, and 65 percent in the last two years.
Sexual harassment of female soldiers is often blatant, and harassment and assault often go hand in hand.
Our Creeping Stalinism
The people have no need to know: Imagine my disappointment. Two long-awaited Pentagon reports on detainee policy had finally reached public view: the Jacoby Report on
Both reports promised to contain new information about detainee policy. In June of 2004, Brigadier General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. had submitted the results of his investigation into detainee operations and standards of detainee treatment in
Now, a mere two years or so later, I began skimming through the introductory matter and the boldface headings of the Jacoby Report. I stopped first at "Detainee Operations Standard Operating Procedures." Here it would be in black and white -- or so I thought. But, as it happened, I was only half right. Startling amounts of the report were redacted or blacked out. Where there should have been text against white space, there was section after section filled with nothing but solid black blocs. Even some subsection titles were missing. Pure ink. Meant not to be read.
Due process: Benamar Benatta, believed to be the last remaining domestic detainee from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was released yesterday after negotiations involving
Benatta crossed the border from the
The Algerian air force lieutenant spent more than 58 months behind bars even though the FBI formally concluded in November 2001 that he had no connection to terrorism.
He was among more than 1,200 mainly Muslim men who were arrested after the attacks and held under tight security while authorities scoured their backgrounds for links to terrorist groups. It is believed that Benatta was the last to be released, though it is difficult to be certain because of the secrecy that surrounded some of the cases.
"This is the result of an individual being labeled a terrorist and the government treating him as such," Benatta's attorney Catherine Amirfar said yesterday. "He was fully cleared by the FBI of any connection to terrorism . . . but the label stuck, so a man with no previous criminal record was detained for a visa overstay."
Worth Reading Twice
Joshua Holland: There's never been a global war on terror. It's a sham, a ruse. The conflict that's broken out between
Bush and Congress gave
When the media and our political class accepted the war frame, the hawks got a blank check. Everything that followed -- invasions, illegal surveillance and prisoners held in limbo, are all expected during times of war. Once we went to "war," resisting those policies became an uphill fight. War talk justifies powerful states responding to terrorist or insurgent attacks with disproportionate force. That makes the hawks feel macho and will likely create a whole new generation of potentially violent radicals who hate our guts.
We should have fought the "War on Terror" narrative from the beginning. Calling it a "war" is a numerical error, not an ideological difference. There are a few tens of thousands of potentially violent extremists dispersed around the world. They're not gathered in large groups, and you can't distinguish them from ordinary civilians. That makes it fundamentally an intelligence and law enforcement problem (which may require some military support).
Paul Krugman: Today we call them neoconservatives, but when the first George Bush was president, those who believed that
Patrick Cockburn: While the eyes of the world are elsewhere,
Invoking the sanctity of human life, George Bush wielded the presidential veto for the first time in his presidency to halt
More people are dying here - probably more than 150 a day - in the escalating sectarian civil war between Shia and Sunni Muslims and the continuing war with US troops than in the bombardment of
Marc Sandalow: The path from the
"It's an inescapable fact, as uncomfortable as it is, that the ... Iranian position is stronger than it otherwise would be,'' Blacker said. "It's not an accident that on the more traditional
The overthrow of
The Syrians, who are largely Sunnis, withdrew from
This was not the sort of geopolitical shakeup predicted by President Bush when he declared two weeks before the Iraq invasion that "acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world.''
One Pissed Off Liberal: It has become fashionable in our overly conservative society to have a certain disdain, be it mild or extreme, for pacifists. I guess it's been long enough since our national humiliation in
DISCLAIMER: I believe in legitimate self-defense and in intervention in the case of genocide, etc. as I see a qualitative difference between waging war and coming to someone's rescue. This is known as the pragmatic school of pacifism.
My view is that pacifists are the real heroes - and I say that as the son of a warrior. As much as I love and admire my father, a career soldier, it is the peacemakers whom I look up to. Why? Because as the son of a warrior, and one who lived for 3 months among warring factions in
Billmon: It's very hard, after more than three years of anticipating, dreading and now watching the catastrophe blossoming in Iraq, to tolerate the pathetic whimpering of former hawks who've finally managed to drag themselves into the searing light of reality -- and feel ill used because they must suffer the slings and arrows of the deluded goons who still refuse to leave the cave of winds. Welcome to the camp, guys. Ivan over there will show you around.
Back in days of the real gulags, the Stalinists used to talk about "useful idiots" -- well-meaning but hopelessly naive Western politicians and intellectuals (i.e. parlor pinks) who could be used to advance the proletarian cause, even though their reward in the event of an actual revolution would have been a one-way ticket to
I suppose I should welcome these refugees to reality, and let them be useful idiots for the Left Opposition for a change. But they don't actually bring much to the table -- just lots of wishful thinking and a water-down Wilsonian idealism that bears absolutely no relationship to the modern
What we are dealing with here, in other words, are some truly useless idiots. And this country -- and this world -- have far too many of those already.