DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, August 31, 2006
: A man prays beside the body of his relative before a funeral at the Shi'ite's Imam Ali shrine in the holy city of Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, August 31, 2006. The body belongs to one of the 12 people killed during Wednesday's bomb attack outside an army recruitment office. REUTERS/Ali Abu Shish (IRAQ)
A salvo of rockets killed at least 46 people and wounded 112 in east Baghdad on Thursday
, Interior Ministry sources said. The rockets slammed into homes as families gathered in the evening. Sources said the death toll could rise as bodies were being pulled from rubble.
Bring 'em on
: A Soldier from the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division was killed by an improvised explosive device while conducting a route security mission at approximately 12:05 p.m., August 30. (CENTCOM)
Bring 'em on
: A U.S. soldier was killed in action on Wednesday by a roadside bomb explosion in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement.
A convoy of British diplomats and guards was blasted by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad today
but the British embassy said no one was injured. "An incident occurred this morning involving British embassy personnel travelling outside the International Zone," an embassy spokesman said in a statement. "There were no injuries." Iraqi police sources said two people were hurt in the attack in the Mansour district.
Two British armored civilian vehicles were badly damaged, police said, and at least two occupants had to be helped from the cars. The embassy insisted no one was actually injured.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
A series of attacks in eastern Baghdad, including one at a popular market, killed at least 39 people and wounded 115 within a half hour
, police said. The attacks included two car bombs — one at a popular market and one on a street about 1.5 miles away. The area also was hit by four mortar rounds, two rockets, a roadside bomb and a bomb in a building, police said.
A car bomb targeting an Iraqi police patrol killed four police commandos and wounded 11 people, including five policemen.
The bomb in eastern Baghdad'd Mashtal district went off by a petrol station, where a line of cars was waiting for petrol.
[Propaganda 101: here's a report of the same incident making it look like an attack perpetrated by evil terrorists bent on killing innocent civillians -- zig] A suicide car bomb targeting a line of cars waiting at a Baghdad gas station killed two people and wounded 13. The suicide car bomb exploded at a gas station in the Mashtal area in eastern Baghdad, killing a woman and a man and wounding 13 people.Gunmen shot and killed a member of the oil ministry's security service and wounded another as the two were driving in a northeastern Baghdad neighborhood.
Eight people were wounded in a bomb blast near a Baghdad restaurant.
Eight people were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their minivan in the Mustansiriya District
, northern Baghdad.
Four people were shot dead in various neighbourhoods of Baghdad.
A number of insurgent attacks wounded more than a dozen people in the capital
, six of them children who were hurt when rebels slammed a mortar round into the southern Al-Maalif neighbourhood.
Five people were wounded, including two policemen, when a car bomb exploded in Harthiya district
, in west-central Baghdad.
At least nine people were killed in the Diyala province
, of which Baquba is the capital. In one of the attacks, gunmen stormed a shop in western Baquba's Yarmuk neighbourhood and shot dead two brothers who owned the shop, police said.
The body of a young woman riddled with bullets was brought to the morgue after being dumped on a main road in Kut,
100 miles southeast of Baghdad,
A bomb at a wedding party wounded at least seven people In Mahaweel
, about 35 miles south of Baghdad.
Gunmen killed a former intelligence official in Saddam Hussein ‘s regime as he was walking in Mahaweel area
, about 35 miles south of Baghdad.
Four people sleeping on the rooftop of their houses were wounded in separate incidents after being hit by stray bullets from nearby clashes in Samawa
, 270 km (168 miles) south of Baghdad.
One man was killed and eight others wounded when a bomb exploded at a wedding party in the small town of Jbela
, 65 km (39 miles) south of Baghdad.
A civilian judge in Tikrit was found dead in Samarra
, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, medical sources said. They said he had been kidnapped four days ago.
Two policemen were killed and two others were wounded when clashes erupted between police and gunmen in the eastern outskirts of Mosul
, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.
An Iraqi soldier wearing civilian clothing was shot and killed while walking in Mosul.
Three people were wounded, including one policeman, when gunmen threw hand grenades at a communication centre in central Falluja
, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. One of the attackers was killed, police said.
A former Iraqi Air Force commander under Saddam Hussein was gunned down in the western city of Ramadi.
Iraq PM says Iraqi security forces will take over Dhi Qar province in September.
It will be the second province to come under the full control of Iraqi troops after the July handover of the southern Muthana province from British troops.
Romania has a battalion of about 400 soldiers in Dhi Qar out of a total of 628 in the country. On Wednesday, the Romanian president said his country could withdraw some of its troops from Iraq in the next two months as the Iraqi government takes over military control of Dhi Qar.
The U.S. government will not seek the death penalty against a Marine Corps private who is among eight service members charged with murder and other crimes in the shooting of an Iraqi civilian
, a military prosecutor said Wednesday. (…)
The Marines and corpsman are charged in the shooting of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52, in the village of Hamdania. Iraqi witnesses told the military that Marines and a sailor kidnapped Awad on April 26, bound his feet, dragged him from his home and shot him to death in a roadside hole.
A CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI POLICEMAN
Click to Play
Just who are the Iraqi Police? How do they think? What are there positions on the war and the occupation?
Alive in Baghdad was able to speak to one officer on camera, but he was afraid to reveal his real name or show his face. His is just one opinion, but the complex perspective he demonstrates should give anyone a little insight into the nuances of Iraqi opinion.
read in full...
"WE'RE HERE TO STAY"
The plans are a state secret, so just where the Starbucks and Krispy Kreme stores will be is a mystery. But as the concrete hulks of a huge 21-building complex rise from the ashes of Saddam's Baghdad, Washington is sending a clear message to Iraqis: "We're here to stay."
It's being built in the Middle East, but George W's palace, as the locals have dubbed the new US embassy, is designed as a suburb of Washington.
An army of more than 3500 diplomatic and support staff will have their own sports centre, beauty parlour and swimming pool. Each of the six residential blocks will contain more than 600 apartments.
The prime 25-hectare site was a steal - it was a gift from the Iraqi Government. And if the five-metre-thick perimeter walls don't keep the locals at bay, then the built-in surface-to-air missile station should.
Guarded by a dozen gangly cranes, the site in the heart of the Green Zone is floodlit by night and is so removed from Iraqi reality that its entire construction force is foreign.
After almost four years, the Americans still can't turn on the lights for the Iraqis, but that won't be a problem for the embassy staffers. The same with the toilets - they will always flush on command. All services for the biggest embassy in the world will operate independently from the rattletrap utilities of the Iraqi capital.
Scheduled for completion next June, this is the only US reconstruction project in Iraq that is on track. Costing more than $US600 million ($A787 million), the fortress is bigger than the Vatican. It dwarfs the edifices of Saddam's wildest dreams and irritates the hell out of ordinary Iraqis.
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Don Rumsfeld may be a lousy Secretary of Defense, but he's the best buck-passer this country's ever had.
Nothing is ever his fault. Not Guantanamo, not Abu Ghraib, not Falluja, not Haditha, not de-Baathification, not the insurgency; nothing. Ever.
Of course, ever since Saddam's bronze torso hit the pavement in Fidros Square, the occupation has steadily unraveled and turned into a quagmire. But that's not Rummy's fault either. Like President Bush said, "He's doin' a heck-uva job".
Sec-Def Houdini put his excuse-making talents on full-display yesterday in a speech at Fallon Naval Air Station in Nevada. He accused terrorist groups of "manipulating the media" to erode support for the war on terror.
"What bothers me the most," he opined, "is the way they are actively manipulating the media in this country. They can lie with impunity...That's the thing that keeps me up at night."
Some of us were hoping that Iraq was keeping Rummy "up at night"...or maybe that niggling issue of torture and abuse that keeps popping up in the newspapers. But, noooo; it's the looming specter of Zarqawi at his keyboard e mailing his hypnotic prose to unwitting Americans who are seduced by his vile propaganda.
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IN IRAQ, THE HOSPITAL IS WHERE YOU GO TO DIE
From the Washington Post
In Baghdad these days, not even the hospitals are safe. In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq's Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed, according to patients, families of victims, doctors and government officials.
As a result, more and more Iraqis are avoiding hospitals, making it even harder to preserve life in a city where death is seemingly everywhere. Gunshot victims are now being treated by nurses in makeshift emergency rooms set up in homes. Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces.
In most cases, family members and hospital workers said, the motive for the abductions appeared to be nothing more than religious affiliation. Because public hospitals here are controlled by Shiites, the killings have raised questions about whether hospital staff have allowed Shiite death squads into their facilities to slaughter Sunni Arabs.
. . . Three Health Ministry officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being killed for discussing such topics publicly, confirmed that Shiite militias have targeted Sunnis inside hospitals. Adel Muhsin Abdullah, the ministry's inspector general, said his investigations into complaints of hospital abductions have yielded no conclusive evidence. "But I don't deny that it may have happened," he said.
According to patients and families of victims, the primary group kidnapping Sunnis from hospitals is the Mahdi Army, a militia controlled by anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that has infiltrated the Iraqi security forces and several government ministries. The minister of health, Ali al-Shimari, is a member of Sadr's political movement. In Baghdad today, it is often impossible to tell whether someone is a government official, a militia member or, as is often the case, both.
I've spared you the grisly firsthand accounts of abductions and executions inside hospitals, but the Post
article has plenty if you click the link (and your stomach is strong enough).
FOR ONCE I BELIEVE GENERAL CASEY
Juan Cole has a good roundup on the fighting in Diwaniya - the reports Juan cites confirm what I wrote yesterday in my posting "Another knockout?
" [excerpt: "It's difficult to tell at the moment but reading between the lines of the reports from western news agencies and those from Aswataliraq I suspect that what has happened is that this was an attempt at a politically inspired operation similar to 'operation knockout' that encountered very stiff resistance and that SCIRI are now looking for a way out."]
that far from being passive during the fighting that the Americans were actively involved including bombing a house. Reports that the police chief was forced to resign have been denied and apparently not only is everything under control but a political solution is well on its way. This doubtless comes as news to the green zone government and their American masters overlords allies who according to this report on Yahoo news have cancelled the agreement:
"Iraqi Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed canceled a truce between Shiite militia and security forces in the central town of Diwaniyah agreed after fighting left at least 81 people dead on Monday."
American General Casey who according to the same report on Yahoo news said "That battle's not finished yet. There were soldiers that were killed there,"
Now when a senior general in the
Badr Brigade Death Squad Protection and Facilitation Forces
American army in Iraq comes right out and says that the battle isn't over yet it behoves us all to listen to him. Particularly when as General Casey did, he makes it clear that vengeance is about to wreaked. So for once I believe General Casey.
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THE END OF IRAQ'S MARSHES (UPDATE)
August 30th, 2006
I don't think many people cracked the code of this post and read what I didn't wrote here:
This one propaganda set by the US years ago, that the Iraqi government attempting to dry the marshes, the US claim that it was a genocide against the Marshes Arabs.
Read it here:
The Crimes of Saddam Hussein: 1980-1990 The Marsh Arabs
Yet, recent Iraq government came to the same conclusion of the former government.
FAO: Iraq, Development and Water - 1997
In order to increase water transport efficiency, minimise losses and waterlogging, and improve water quality, a number of new watercourses were constructed, especially in the southern part of the country. The Saddam river (or Third river) functions as a main out-fall drain collecting drainage waters of more than 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land from north of Baghdad to the Gulf, between the two main rivers (the Euphrates and the Tigris). The length of the watercourse, completed in December 1992, is 565 km, with a total discharge of 210 m_/s. Other watercourses were also constructed to reclaim new lands or to reduce waterlogging.BBC: Iraq marshes' recovery 'in doubt' 30 August 2006
But the future availability of water for restoration is in question because of increasing urban and agricultural demands for water in Iraq.........An estimate made by Iraqis suggests that to restore the marshes could take half of the nation's total water supply. That will be very difficult; human needs have always come first.link
WHY ARE WE IN IRAQ?
(...) Invading Iraq was a mistake. Why did President Bush invade Iraq? More broadly, why are we involved with Iraq at all? Why aren't Congress and the Executive exiting the morass which is Iraq? Vice-President Cheney (8/29/06) says that withdrawing from Iraq would be "a ruinous blow to the future security of the United States." How absurd to suppose that a country with our might would be ruined by leaving Iraq! We will actually be strengthened. Why are they steering toward war against Iran? Answer why we are in Iraq and we answer these questions too. (...)
The drive for expansion of the United States is strong because several elements are acting hand in hand. Our government is responsive or captured by a variety of interest groups and lobbies. The ideology of free markets (even if they do not actually exist) works hand in glove with businesses seeking to expand securely into new markets. Americans are semi-religiously and sometimes religiously trying to convert the world. Americans are a most insecure people who, from the inception of the country to now, persistently expanded the country's reach in order to achieve security (see Albert K. Weinberg's Manifest Destiny). Americans want to be number one and think they are number one. This is their God-substitute. When neoconservatives argue that America is the only superpower and that it should institute benevolent global hegemony, we are hearing a rhetoric that combines many of these long-running historical themes. (...)
We are in Iraq because of empire. We have armed forces in Iraq because of error. We have empire because we have a runaway state. In the long run, which sometimes is not that long, empire is seen to be an error. It is an error built upon the error of having a state. We have a state because of hubris, which is an excessive pride in which we boastfully compare ourselves to God or, in earlier days, to other deities. Hubris is associated with hamartia by which Aristotle meant a tragic flaw, an error in judgment, or a character defect that results in a hero's downfall. America and Americans have hubris and hamartia. We need humility. We can't avoid future Iraqs, future losses, and the fall of the American empire until we rein in the American state. We can't rein in the American state until we rein in ourselves.
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SO MUCH THE BETTER
In the latest interview with President Bush, we again learn he never said Saddam ordered 9/11:
BUSH: [T]he war came to our shores, remember that. We had a foreign policy that basically said, let's hope calm works. And we were attacked.
WILLIAMS: But those weren't Iraqis.
BUSH : They weren't, no, I agree, they weren't Iraqis, nor did I ever say Iraq ordered that attack, but they're a part of, Iraq is part of the struggle against the terrorists.
THE PRESIDENT: [N]obody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.
Interesting phrasing. Here's a November, 2004 Esquire
article by Walter Russell Mead:
But what were the real reasons for going into Iraq? I'd asked a senior administration official...And the connection between containment and Al Qaeda? I asked. Between our Iraq policy and September 11?
The official pointed out fatwas from Osama that cited the effects of sanctions on Iraqi children and the presence of U. S. troops as a sacrilege that justified his jihad. In a real sense, September 11 was part of the cost of containing Saddam. No containment, no U. S. troops in Saudi Arabia. No U. S. troops there, then bin Laden might still be redecorating mosques and boring friends with stories of his mujahideen days in the Khyber Pass.
As it was, the administration took what looked like the path of least resistance in making its public case for the war: WMD and intelligence links with Al Qaeda. If the public read too much into those links and thought Saddam had a hand in September 11, so much the better.July 1, 2003:
Seven in 10 people in a poll say the Bush administration implied that Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States.
REMEMBERING KATRINA, REMEMBERING IRAQ
My younger sister was telling me a while ago, after I started this blog, that reading my accounts of life in Baghdad, and reading a Palestinian lady's accounts of life in Gaza, made her lose a certain respect for the people of these nations. Reading about the crazy violence, and the random kidnappings and murder, made her see these people as rather uncivilized people.
That was never my intent when I started this blog, and as I continue it today. But I realize that my sister's words do not only reflect her feelings, but those of many people who are bombarded by daily images and stories of bombings, lootings, kidnappings, terror and violence in these hotspots.
But I must say that such behavior is not necessarily endemic to these people. It is a result of a catastrophe that has left Iraq, and any other country in its same shoes, in complete chaos, the result of having no government, no governmental authority, no leader, no law in place.
That is what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrine hit it exactly one year ago today, on April 29, 2005. I remember watching the news of this natural catastrophe which hit the Gulf Area, in between the few moments of quiet I had while caring for my then newborn daughter. I remember the images of chaos, the dead bodies floating in the streets, the people begging for help on national television, the looting, the guns going off randomly, the National Guard threatening not to come to the city if individuals did not stop using random gunfire to defend their belongings; the horror of having your home destroyed in seconds, of losing your loved ones and not knowing if they were dead or alive, ...
At that moment, all I could think of was... Iraq. This is Iraq. This is Palestine. This is every land and people that have been destroyed by a catastrophe. This is America getting a taste of what it is like to be left without law and order. It doesn't only happen in the Middle East, it happened right here, in the heartland of America. When I saw the looters who had to steal food to survive (or not), when I saw people having to take the law into their own hands, defending their homes and businesses from randoms looters, all I could think of was life in Iraq today. This is what a state of chaos and lawlessness does to a people. It leaves them to fend for themselves, some stay true to their goodness, in others, it brings out the worse.
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
A Dutch F-16 fighter pilot has died after his plane crashed in southern Afghanistan
, officials say. They said that the plane was flying at a "great height" when the accident occurred, which meant that it was unlikely that it was shot down. "We therefore assume it was an accident," the Dutch defence ministry said in a statement.
Taliban militants attacked a southern Afghan town today, sparking intense fighting with Afghan troops.
The militants used mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns in the attack on Naw Zad, in volatile Helmand province around 8am (0430BST), said Defence Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi. He said that the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan army troops was "intense," but that he had no further details about the scale of the assault or casualties.
"With the support of coalition air forces, Afghan soldiers fought back the enemies in Nawzad district at 11:00 a.m. local time," the ministry said in a statement. Two militants were killed and a number of others injured, it added. It said the operation also caused casualties to the civilians. "There were civilian casualties and property damages, and the details would be released later."NATO commanders are warning Afghans to clear out of an area near Kandahar
that has become a Taliban stronghold and a thorn in the side of Canadian troops. Col. Steve Williams, the NATO deputy commander in southern Afghanistan, says his forces will launch a major operation soon to take back Panjwaii district, just west of Kandahar. Canadians and other forces have fought several pitched battles in the area, but have always withdrawn to their bases, ceding the countryside back to the Taliban. Several Canadians have died and many others have been injured in the area.
TWO MONTHS TO ELECTION '06: ALL EYES ON...TERRA!
That's right, simpleminded Americans. Time for BushCo. to get you back to crapping your pants (in case you'd ever stopped):
NASHVILLE, Aug. 30 - With the midterm elections coming into view, President Bush is launching an extended publicity tour to draw attention back to the threat of terrorism, quickly pivoting to more comfortable political territory for him after the focus in recent days on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
B3 forecast: We will
see "credible evidence" of an "imminent" terrorist plot -- with the attendant jiggering of the ROY G. BIV Wheel-O-Terror -- sometime late September or early October.
ANWAAR HUSSAIN: OH WHAT TANGLED WEBS WE WEAVE...
Most recently, the president of United States said: "This nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."
Not to be debated in this column is the fact that the United States itself is now so steadfastly embarked upon a course of such vile fascism that even genuine American fascists are distancing themselves from this Neoconish version of it. Also not to be debated here are further facts that the Islamic fundamentalists who, according to the grapevine, perpetrated 9/11 and similar crimes in Europe, hanker for a fundamentalist theocracy, not fascism and that the new American fascists themselves have their religion and government so thoroughly welded with each other that it is difficult to tell one from the other.
No sirs, the agenda of the Islamic cave dwellers of Tora Bora may be any thing but fascist. 'Islamic fascism', this most current war cry of the Neocons, is nothing more than the latest terminological inexactitude on the falling power curve of the Neocons, an ugly last ditch attempt to breathe new life into the fast fading, faltering and dying war steed of the Neocons.
Unlike our lying Neocons, Benito Mussolini, the true father of fascism, had a pretty straight forward definition for his creed. He, in his seminal essay 'The Doctrine of Fascism', wrote;
"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
If the Neocons really were convinced of their cause, if they were a little less deceiving and a little more forthcoming, they would have come up with a more becoming name for their agenda. Allow me to explain how that is.
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WHO WOULD WIN THE DEBATE?
Who would win a debate on world issues between President Bush and Iranian President Ahmadinejad?
Bush 37% - 40540 votes
Ahmadinejad 63% - 68839 votesCNN Poll
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich." -- Sir Peter Ustinov