DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, August 16, 2006
Cartoon by Bennett
Bring 'em on
: A U.S. soldier died on Tuesday of wounds suffered in combat in Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said in a statement.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
Members of the Bani Assad tribe attacked the Basra governor's office
because they believed provincial officials were behind the killing of a tribal leader Tuesday, according to an official trapped in the besieged building. The tribesmen fled after British armored vehicles arrived. Basra Gov. Mohammed al-Waeli said one policeman was killed and four were wounded. Seven attackers were arrested, he said.
Basra Gov. Mohammed al-Waeli said one policeman was killed and four others were wounded. Seven attackers were arrested, he added.Baghdad:
A bomb exploded in a crowd of day laborers in central Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding 28.
All eight people killed in the Baghdad bombing were civilians, though four police were among the wounded, said police Lt. Bilal Ali said.
In Baghdad, assailants blew up a monument erected to 18 Shiite children who were killed in July 2005 suicide bombing in the city.
A roadside bomb went off in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, killing 7 Iraqi civilians and injured 18 others.
. The blast occurred at about 11:15 a.m.(0715 GMT) in the neighborhood of Al-Nadha in eastern Baghdad, the source said on customary condition of anonymity. The roadside bomb targeted a police patrol but missed, causing much casualties to the passers-by, the source said.
A roadside bomb exploded near a hospital and market in the eastern sector of the capital, claiming 7 victims and wounding 17
, based on a still preliminary toll.
Two simultaneous car bombs killed at least 13 people and wounded 43 in Baghdad on Wednesday.
The attacks took place on Tunis Street, a busy commercial area in central Baghdad.
A policeman was killed and three were wounded when a roadside exploded near their patrol in Baquba
, 65 km north of Baghdad.
Gunmen killed a former member of Saddam Hussein's ousted Baath Party in Diwaniya
, 180 km south of Baghdad.
(update from six killed) Government troops regained control of the holy city of Karbala after killing ten members of a Shiite cleric's private army
, arresting 281 more and imposing a strict curfew on the town.
Police in Kut, 150km from Karbala, said Hasani's supporters there had ambushed a patrol and killed one officer.
Two policemen were wounded late by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol near a cemetery in Kut
, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad.
Authorities found three bodies floating in the Tigris in Kut
, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad. All were bound, blindfolded and showed signs of torture.
Yusif al-Mousawi, the general secretary of Tharalla Islamic Party, one of the Shi'ite Islamist parties, escaped an assassination attempt
when two roadside bombs went off near his house in Basra.
(near) A Danish soldier was hospitalized after he was shot in the back during an assignment in Qurnah
, about 35 miles north of Basra.
Gunmen wounded two people late on Tuesday in Mussayab.
Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and four wounded by a roadside bomb near their patrol in the small town of Jbala
, near Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad.
A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol north of Hillah, killing three soldiers and wounding four
. Hillah is a mostly Shiite city about 60 miles south of Baghdad.
Gunmen attacked an Iraqi Army check point near Hilla
, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad. The soldiers ran off and the attackers stole their weapons, police said.
Armed clashes erupted between police and assailants in three neighborhoods of Mosul
, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. At least five gunmen were killed and six arrested, he said. Western Mosul is predominantly Sunni Arab, while Kurds dominate in the east of the city.
A Filipino worker died in a bombing in Iraq
, according to GMA Network "Flash Report." Qutoing the victim's death certificate, the report identified the fatality as Carlito Sotes Mainit who died on July 31. The report said Mainit's body was brought to Kuwait this August by a US Air Force plane. The report said Mainit was a driver of a warehouse company based in Kuwait.
The White House flatly denied reports that US President George W. Bush is frustrated with Iraqis and their prime minister
, and rejected the notion that Iraq has slipped into civil war.
Faced with growing threats and violence, dozens of aid agencies in Iraq are hampered in their efforts to help the sick, the hungry, and the displaced
: "Unfortunately, the sectarian violence in Iraq today does not exclude aid volunteers, and in fact has worsened our work," said Fatah Ahmed, spokesman for Iraq Aid Association (IAA). "Some volunteers have even received threats for helping families of other religious beliefs."
The work of IAA and other local nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) helps many thousands of Iraqis, including hungry children, bedridden patients, widows, and the unemployed. But recent escalations of sectarian violence have limited their reach as volunteers quit and deliveries are delayed.
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Iraq's Oil Minister declared that Iraq's crude oil production is back to 2.5 million barrels per day
after repairing the pipeline that transport oil to Turkey, Market Watch reported. The minister said plans are under way to raise Iraq's oil production to reach 3 million b/d by the end of the current year, and raise it by 500,000 b/d annually by 2010.
HUNTING DRIVE-BY KILLERS ON PATROL IN BAGHDAD
"Take cover!" yelled Captain Ryan Nystrom as gunshots rang out.
The leader of the 14th U.S. Cavalry "Crazy Horse" platoon and his men crouched behind a low wall, trying to figure out where the two "pop pop" sounds had come from. A minute later, they heard the low boom of an explosion somewhere nearby.
They were hunting two cars that residents of the southern Baghdad district of al-Hadar had told them were responsible for a series of fatal drive-by shootings in the past few days.
Nystrom and his platoon are just one of the American units involved in a crackdown by U.S. and Iraqi forces on the Shi'ite-Sunni sectarian violence ravaging the capital that has pushed the country toward all-out civil war.
First Squadron of the 14th Cavalry, equipped with the U.S. military's latest armored vehicle, the eight-wheeled Stryker, was diverted from its deployment to Anbar province two weeks ago in preparation for the operation in Baghdad. (...)
But as he briefed the 20 or so men gathered around the back of his Stryker in the sweltering summer heat, Nystrom told them they would also stop at a gas station, where Iraqi police were reported to have caused a near riot by queue-jumping.
"We are going to make sure they are not pushing to the front of the line," said Nystrom, on his second tour of Iraq.
Iraq suffers chronic fuel shortages, despite having the world's third-largest oil reserves, and long queues of cars outside gas stations for petrol and propane for generators are a common sight in Baghdad.
Two hours into the three-hour afternoon patrol through the largely deserted streets of al-Hadar, Nystrom orders his men to dismount from the three Strykers for a foot patrol. He wants to talk to residents, hear their grievances and glean intelligence.
One local resident says after speaking to Nystrom: "I like that the Americans are here to restore security, but I am Iraqi. I want only Iraqis in Iraq."
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
THE FORGOTTEN PROVINCE
The Associated Press reminds us this morning about the losing battle the U.S. is fighting in Iraq's western Anbar province:
American attention has shifted in recent weeks to Baghdad, where violence between Sunni and Shiite extremists is on the rise. The U.S. is sending nearly 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi forces to the capital to curb the violence.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has said tbat sectarian violence in the capital is now a greater threat to Iraq's stability than the Sunni Arab insurgency, which is entrenched in western Iraq.
Nevertheless, of the 23 U.S. troops who have died this month in Iraq, 16 were in Anbar.
. . . As long as the insurgency rages here, it is unlikely that Sunni Arab politicians in Baghdad can win over significant numbers of Sunnis to support the government of national unity, which took office May 20.
. . . In Ramadi, the largest city and provincial capital, several prominent tribal leaders who had approached the military earlier this year were promptly slain. Commanders say several key Sunni leaders have fled to Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.
Even in calmer Fallujah, which remains under tight U.S. and Iraqi control, several prominent leaders have been killed - including the city council chief, a senior cleric and the deputy police chief. The mayor also recently fled the city.
. . . The U.S. military has pinned its hopes on the development of Iraqi forces. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers have flowed into Anbar over the past year and are expected to soon take over key terrain such as Fallujah.
But commanders say it's a struggle to keep soldiers stationed in Anbar: Thousands have deserted after being given orders here or shortly after arriving.
And this, according to the U.S. ambassador, is a situation that's a lower
priority than the carnage in Baghdad...
AT 9:30 TONIGHT, IRAQ TAKES LONGER THAN WW II
August 15, 2006
We're counting from the day Germany declared war on the US (December 11, 1941) to VE day (May 8, 1945). This is 1244 days. The Invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003 at 21:34 EST when the US began their first air strike on Baghdad.
On August 15, 2006 21:30 EST the United States will have been at war in Iraq longer than it was at war with Germany in World War II.
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HOW STRANGE DOUBLE STANDARDS CAN BE
When nearly 3,000 people died in New York, Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania on September 11th, 2001, it was an unspeakable tragedy and one worth launching world wars over and committing atrocity after atrocity.
But when it happens in just one city in just one month in Iraq, it's hardly worth mentioning.
that? And why do we allow it to happen? What makes American lives priceless but Iraqi deaths.. or Lebanese or Palestinians... so acceptable? And no, this question is not rhetorical.
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TO MANY IN IRAQ, LEBANON APPEARS AS A MIRROR IMAGE
Iraqis are beginning to see striking similarities between Lebanese civilians and their own position three years ago.
Talk on the streets of Baghdad is taking a tone of oneness with the Lebanese. An anger over the bombing of Lebanon that Iraqis say they can feel as their own has led to some of the world's biggest demonstrations against the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Shia militant leader Muqtada Sadr has led one of the largest demonstrations against Israel.
"We know very well that American politicians support Israel and sent them new bombs to attack Lebanon," Abu Muhammed, who was a senior intelligence officer during Saddam Hussein's regime told IPS. "At the same time, they send aid to Lebanon, such as food and water. They did the same in Afghanistan and Iraq before. But we don't need their aid -- we need them to be out of our country and away from all of the Middle East."
New frustration is rife within Baghdad. The United States response in support of Israel has further sharpened opposition to the U.S.-led occupying army.
"I hate American politicians because they occupy Iraq, and I hate them more because they help Israel to bomb Lebanon now," said Baghdad resident Uday Adel. "I feel ashamed of Arab politicians when they asked Bush for help to stop this war against Lebanon."
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
At least six Canadian soldiers and two Afghan army troops were wounded when their joint military base in the southern province of Kandahar came under rocket attack
, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Wednesday.
A SCORE CARD
------Israeli Objective---------------------Score (0-10)------
1) Kill Hasan Nasrallah ----------------------------------------------------0
2) Prevent Missile Firing On Israel, In Retaliation--------------------0
3) Occupy The Area South Of The Litani--------------------------------0
4) Push Hizbullah North Of The Litani----------------------------------0
5) Turn The Lebanese And The Arabs Against Hizbullah-------------0
6) Destroy The Military Capability Of Hizbullah-----------------------0
7) Disarm Hizbullah--------------------------------------0
8) Demonstrate The Decisive Military Capability Of Israel-----------0
9) Demonstrate To The Arabs That Resistance Is Futile---------------0
10) Strengthen The Puppet Regimes Of Jordan, Egypt, S.A.
11) Increase Support For US Policies In Lebanon And
The Rest Of The M.E.----------------0
12) Strengthen Usrael Vis-A-Vis Syria And Iran And Cow Both--------0
You be the judge, who won this war?
THE CRY OF "WOLF!" OVER TERROR: A COMMENT ON THE PLANE "PLOT"
Part of the reaction to terror:
should include an effort by politicians, officials, and the media to inform the public reasonably and realistically about the terrorist context instead of playing into the hands of terrorists by frightening the public.
What is needed:
is some sort of convincing, coherent, informed, and nuanced answer to a central question: 'How worried should I be?' Instead, the message the nation has received so far is, as a Homeland Security official put (or caricatured) it, "Be scared; be very, very scared-go on with your lives". Such messages have led many people to develop what Leif Wenar of the University of Sheffield has aptly labeled 'a false sense of insecurity'.
If these were genuine terror alerts, that is what Bush and Blair would be doing-informing the public "reasonably and realistically" about the context of any threat. As Ronald Bailey argues in ReasonOnline, that would reveal that:
your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered. Link
Instead they are frightening the public. This is how they are doing it:
• MI5 and MI6 pass on information to the CIA.
• The CIA leaks information to the U.S. news media (which are little more than public relations organs of the American State).
• This is then picked up and reported in the British media.
See Richard Norton-Taylor, We seem to have learned more of the story behind yesterday's arrests from the US than from Britain. Why?
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QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "In 2003, the Shrub-in-Chief infamously told us the war there represented a 'Mission Accomplished.' In 2004, well, maybe it wasn't accomplished after all, but never fear because 'freedom is on the march.' Last year, with freedom marching slowly if at all, Dubya's handlers staged a cross-country tour for him to assert that he nevertheless had a 'Plan for Victory.' And now we're supposedly 'adapting to win.'" -- Needlenose