Friday, September 08, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, September 8, 2006 Photo: A masked Iraqi soldier stands guard at an empty road during a four-hour vehicle curfew for Friday prayers in Baghdad September 8, 2006. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ) Bring 'em on: A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died of wounds at approximately 2 a.m. today after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a British soldier in Iraq on Thursday 7 September 2006. The soldier, from 58 Battery of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, died as a result of injuries sustained in a shooting incident in the town of Al Qurna, Iraq on Tuesday 5 September 2006. (UK MoD) OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in eastern Baghdad killed two people and wounded six. The blast occurred in the Zayouna area, and the wounded included three policemen. Five people have been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad that was aimed at a police convoy. Colonel Ali Muhammad, head of the police for Baghdad's Karkh district, was attacked as his convoy was passing through the Zayuna neighbourhood in central Baghdad on Friday. While Muhammad escaped unhurt, six others, including three policemen were wounded. Police found the bodies of six men who had been tortured and then shot and killed in Baghdad.
update: The 14 bodies that were found throughout Baghdad Friday had their hands bound and showing signs of torture, police said.
One Iraqi civilian died and a young child was injured in Central Baghdad today following an accident involving a Coalition Convoy. (MNF - Iraq) Diwaniya: The body of an interpreter working for Danish troops in Iraq was found shot dead in front of his house in central Diwaniya, 180 km (115 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. He had been kidnapped three days ago, they added. Musayyib: In the city of Musayyib, three mortar rounds landed on a procession of pilgrims heading to the Shiite holy city of Karbala for a religious ceremony, killing at least two and wounding 23, five of whom were critically injured.
Four people were killed and six wounded by mortars on the road near Mussayab, just north of the city. Four others were killed and 34 wounded in two other attacks over the past day.
Baqubah: Gunmen killed three people in two incidents in Baquba. Tikrit: Police in Tikrit said they found the bodies of three members of the oil protection force who were kidnapped a day ago from west of the city. Samarra: (near) An Iraqi army patrol was attacked by gunmen between the town of Samarra and Baghdad, killing a soldier and wounding two. Karmah: A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army convoy in a village near Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad, killing four Iraqi soldiers. Hawija: (near) Armed men killed Shaikh Khalaf Ibrahim of the Sunni Juburi tribe, a police captain said. The attack took place in the Assad al-Baggra village, close to Hawija. (near) In another incident near the village, armed men clashed with US troops "in which two gunmen were killed", police said. Fallujah: Clashes broke out between "insurgents" and U.S. troops after a roadside bomb attack on a U.S. convoy on Thursday in Falluja, residents and police sources said. Raed al-Ani, a hospital doctor, said three Iraqis were killed and six wounded. Residents said U.S. troops used loudspeakers to demand people turn in insurgents or face a "large military operation". A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he had no reports of such incidents. >> NEWS There's no evidence Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida, according to a Senate report on prewar intelligence that Democrats say undercuts President Bush's justification for invading Iraq. Bush administration officials have insisted on a link between the Iraqi regime and terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Intelligence agencies, however, concluded there was none. (...) The declassified document released Friday by the intelligence committee also explores the role that inaccurate information supplied by the anti-Saddam exile group the Iraqi National Congress had in the march to war. It concludes that postwar findings do not support a 2002 intelligence community report that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, possessed biological weapons or ever developed mobile facilities for producing biological warfare agents. Iraqi security officials said they were checking a report on Iran's state news agency that seven Iraqi security personnel were detained crossing into Iran, east of Baghdad. BOOK SAYS CIA TRIED TO PROVOKE SADDAM TO WAR More than a year before the invasion of Iraq the CIA devised a plan, codenamed Anabasis, to use Iraqi exile fighters to seize an air base and declare a revolt against Saddam Hussein in the hope that his response would create a pretext for war, according to a book published tomorrow. The plan was ultimately rejected by General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion in March 2003, but the CIA-backed fighters carried out sabotage operations and assassinations of Ba'athist officials in the run-up to the war, the book, called Hubris, reports. Hubris [: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War], by investigative journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn, adds more weight to a body of evidence that the White House was determined to go to war from early 2002. Planning on Anabasis, which cost $400m (£210m), started at the end of 2001 and was approved by President Bush in February 2002. CIA agents entered Iraq to recruit volunteers two months later. Talking to his spokesman, Ari Fleischer, in May 2002, President Bush made clear his intentions towards Saddam when he said: "I'm going to kick his sorry motherfucking ass all over the Mid East," according to another press aide, Adam Levine, who witnessed the conversation. read in full... >> REPORTS Iraqi Ministry of Oil figures for August show that crude oil production and internal supply rates from northern fields rose during the month, lifting the country's total production to 2.285 million b/d, up 42,000 b/d from the previous month. Production from northern fields rose in August to 308,000 b/d, up by 28,000 b/d, the ministry figures, obtained by Platts, showed. This was due to the repair in mid-August of one of the crude oil feed pipelines connecting the Kirkuk oil production center with the major refining and pumping hub in Baiji, which were isolated after a major attack on the connecting pipelines on July 6. US ARMY HOSPITALS IN IRAQ CRITICISED Western nations' military hospitals need to embrace a change in modern warfare by acknowledging the need to treat wounded civilian children, US doctors have said. A report into the activities of a US army hospital operating in Balad, Iraq, from January 2004 to May 2005 shows that attempts to treat injured civilians, including children, proved inadequate to the task. Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Coppola of the US Air Force, reporting with colleagues on the status of the hospital around 40 miles north of Baghdad in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine journal, says that the mission's objective - to just treat wounded combat soldiers - was eroded during the period of the study. "Our facility experienced 'mission creep' because of the presence of injured civilians, including children. Children additionally had dehydration and malnutrition, which contribute to increased mortality," he said. read in full… LACK OF TIPS AFFECTING EFFORTS TO STOP ROADSIDE BOMBINGS IN IRAQ Roadside bombs are the number one killer of American soldiers in Iraq. But the Pentagon says it's having a hard time countering the bombers -- in large part because tipsters aren't helping as much. The retired general tapped to try and solve the bombing problem says intelligence is the key to defeating insurgents. But the help is drying up. The nearly six-thousand tips Iraqis gave on bombs and other issues plummeted to just 37-hundred in July. Beyond tips, the military is looking to technology and other methods of beating the bombers. The Pentagon won't give statistics, but says the number of American casualties in Iraq caused by bombs remains constant, despite an increase in the number of devices. link THE BANALITY OF VIOLENCE... OR, IN WARTIME, EVERYBODY'S A TARGET On Wednesday, one of our [Alive in Baghdad blog] correspondents was nearly killed in a firefight between Mahdi Army militia members-a force nominally loyal to Muqtada Al-Sadr, and United States and Iraqi military forces. Isam's wife is pregnant, and will give birth any day. On Wednesday, she began to have contractions and seemed to be going into labor, so Isam rushed her and his young daughter into their car, to speed to the hospital, as any expectant father anywhere in the world might do. Unfortunately for Isam and his family, they have the misfortune to be living in Baghdad, and not only Baghdad, but the ADhamiya neighborhood, which has been the scene of much fighting in recent weeks. As Isam was driving to the hospital, the family found themselves in the middle of a firefight, as mentioned above, between Iraqi militia members and US and Iraqi military. In fact, it was more of a high-speed chase than a static firefight. Here is what Isam had to say about the incident, which occured on 20th St. in Adhamiya: read in full IRAQ VETERANS SICK WITH DEPLETED URANIUM FILE SUIT AGAINST MILITARY A U.S. District court in Manhattan held a hearing Wednesday on a lawsuit brought by soldiers from the New York National Guard who have been sick since being exposed to depleted uranium while serving in Iraq. Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez first broke the story in the New York Daily News. [includes rush transcript] AMY GOODMAN: Before we move to this top story around President Bush and Guantanamo, Juan, yesterday you spent the day at a hearing that is related to Iraq. JUAN GONZALEZ: Yes. It was a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on a topic that Democracy Now! listeners know about: the soldiers from the New York National Guard who served in Iraq and who ended up being exposed to depleted uranium and who have been sick since coming back, they were finally -- had a beginning of a day in court. It was a hearing over their lawsuit, they and their relatives, their families, against the United States military, over their exposure to depleted uranium. And there was a hearing over the government's motion to dismiss the case completely. And it lasted for several hours. And amazingly, much of the discussion was around the Ferris Doctrine, which is a 1950s Supreme Court decision that basically does not allow soldiers while on active service, who have injuries as a result of active service in the military, from being able to sue the government. And it was quite a hearing, because you had the U.S. Attorney and the lawyers for the plaintiffs, for the soldiers, raising all of the atrocities of the military in the past: radiation exposure to soldiers during World War II, agent orange exposure, LSD tests that the military conducted on soldiers. These were all the legal precedents that were being debated as to whether these soldiers had the right to sue the government, because the government, according to their lawsuit, was negligent in exposing them, violating its own protocols for protecting our troops from depleted uranium exposure. And Federal Judge Koeltl asked some very tough questions on both sides. And he seemed to be sympathetic, but you know, it's always hard to judge how a judge is leaning when he's asking questions. But he also reserved judgment, so we'll have to wait actually several weeks to hear whether the case can move forward. AMY GOODMAN: And this unit of men were stationed at a depot in Iraq? JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, there was actually -- there were two groups. One was the 442nd military police. They were stationed all over southern Iraq, but mostly they believe their exposure came in the town of Samawa, when they were there for several months, when they all started getting sick. And then there's another separate soldier who we have interviewed here, Gerard Matthew, who after he came back from Iraq, he has been sick with illnesses that could not be diagnosed by the military. And then his wife becomes pregnant, and they have a child born with missing several fingers on one hand. And so, he was from a separate transportation company that was transporting destroyed or damaged tanks back from Iraq into Kuwait. And so, all the soldiers, eight of them in total, are involved in the lawsuit. link >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS PROSPECT OF SHIITE SELF-RULE SPELLS BREAK-UP OF IRAQ The future of Iraq as a sovereign nation has been jeopardised with the introduction to parliament of a law that would enable the country to break up into semi-autonomous regions. A self-ruling Shiite state would emerge in the south, based on the autonomous region that Kurds have established in the north. The Shiite state would not only be able to levy taxes and govern itself but, Shiite politicians say, would have its own armed guards along its borders. Sunnis, most of who bitterly oppose the law, have warned it would mark the first step in the break-up of the country and could lead to the south becoming a satellite of Iran. The introduction of the law was marked by a plea from the Speaker of parliament that delegates must compromise and find agreement on the prospect of federalism, otherwise the country risked not only collapsing but descending into anarchy. "We have three to four months to reconcile with each other," said Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni. "If the country does not survive this it will go under." The law is almost certain to pass because federalism is supported by Shiite and Kurdish parties, who control two-thirds of the seats in parliament, although it could be amended. read in full... I DON'T SEE DEAD PEOPLE So the Pentagon touted an astounding 50% drop in civil war-related deaths in Baghdad, thanks to Operation Forward Together, but then the Iraqi Health Ministry revised its figures up drastically, showing the number of deaths basically the same. Not that the Pentagon is admitting it, as shown by that hapless general on McNeil-Lehrer yesterday, still saying "well that's not what our numbers show." Dude, their numbers come from the Baghdad morgue. They get dead bodies, they count dead bodies. You're not disputing numbers, you're disputing the existence of 750 corpses you evidently didn't know about. So the next question is: we're occupying their country, we have responsibility for security, we're running a major operation to reduce sectarian violence in the capital... and we don't know how many fatalities there are in the capital to within plus or minus 50%? We had no one on the ground with enough of a sense of the overall picture to realize that the claim that deaths were down 50% did not accord with that overall picture? Best line in the WaPo story: the Health Ministry is planning to build some more morgues, get more refrigeration units and hire more personnel to cope with the influx of dead bodies, but said it had "nothing to do with the violence and killing." link WE'RE PAYING THEM RANSOM OVER THERE SO THEY DON'T KIDNAP US OVER HERE You just can't make this sort of clusterfuckery up. Truly, I kid you not, things are so bad in Iraq that the Americans now have an "Office of Hostage Affairs" in their bunker bolt hole embassy in Baghdad. No wonder their fat-arsed deathsquad liaison officers "diplomats" don't dare leave the green zone. The Cheney Bush administration's capacity to turn everything they touch to brown smelly biowaste has risen sunk to new heights depths. Don't believe me? Here:
State Dept. Daily Press Briefing September 7, 2006 Friday, 8 September 2006, 10:51 am Press Release: US State Department Daily Press Briefing Sean McCormack, Spokesman Washington, DC September 7, 2006 "QUESTION: Yes. The White House today published a statement mentioning an Office of Hostage Affairs in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Does it mean that the State Department has a hand in the U.S. Hostage Affairs in Baghdad? And -- MR. MCCORMACK: Can we participate? There's an office there. QUESTION: What is it exactly? MR. MCCORMACK: You know, I think I would rather let the embassy talk a little bit about what it is that that office does. Certainly they're there. We want to see anybody who in Iraq is taken captive released. We obviously do everything that we can to see that our citizens are released unharmed and in a rapid fashion and there are also other states who unfortunately have their citizens taken hostage. And whenever something like that happens, if there is a state that wants to talk to us about it, seek our assistance, we are always ready there, ready there to help. But I'm going to let the Embassy talk in more detail if they choose to about that particular office and their efforts. QUESTION: Okay. Can you ask also if there are other such offices in other embassies around the world? MR. MCCORMACK: Sure. QUESTION: Is it the only embassy in the world you have such an office? MR. MCCORMACK: I'll check. QUESTION: Thank you."
PS: The number of body bag occupants American troops hostages lucrative investment opportunities for enterprising Iraqis has now risen to 145,000. link >> BEYOND IRAQ Afghanistan: A suicide car bomber struck a convoy of U.S. military vehicles Friday in downtown Kabul, killing at least 16 people, including two American soldiers, and wounding 29 others. It was the Afghan capital's deadliest suicide attack since the Taliban's 2001 ouster. The blast near the U.S. Embassy came as NATO chiefs appealed for member nations to send reinforcements to combat resurgent Taliban militants fanning the deadliest violence in five years. A top British general said the fighting in volatile southern Afghanistan was now more ferocious than in Iraq. The bomb blew pieces of an American Humvee and U.S. uniforms into trees, which were set ablaze by the explosion. The blast shattered windows throughout downtown, and a cloud of brown smoke climbed hundreds of feet into the sky. Four Italian soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a roadside explosion near the city of Farah, the Defence Ministry said. A statement said what it called an "improvised explosive device" went off when an Italian military vehicle was passing. It said the four were being evacuated for medical treatment.
NATO soldiers fighting in Afghanistan face a higher risk of being killed than the U.S.-led international forces that invaded Iraq in 2003, a British statistician says. Sheila Bird, the vice-president of Britain's Royal Statistical Society, said in the Sept. 9 issue of New Scientist magazine that she made the conclusion after analyzing casualty rates and the number of soldiers deployed on each mission. Bird said the risk to the NATO forces fighting militants in Afghanistan — including more than 2,000 Canadian troops — is approaching the level faced by the then-Soviets, who abandoned their war there in 1989 after 10 years. Five of the approximately 18,500 soldiers in the NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been killed every week since May, she said. That's more than twice the level during the battles to control Iraq, Bird calculated.
ANOTHER SERVING FROM BUSH'S POISON KITCHEN What we are seeing is the deliberate concoction of a pernicious national myth, designed to serve the partisan ends of an extremist movement that despises democracy and seeks to install, by stealth, one-party authoritarian rule. Since we're all tossing around Nazi-era analogies these days - after all, we must follow the example of The Leader - this is another one, and far more apposite than any of the historical tripe Bush and Rummy and Condi have been throwing out. For the ABC movie [ABC's docudrama "The Path to 9/11."] - and the much deeper revisionism it represents - is another "stab-in-the-back" myth, such as the Nazis and their fellow travellers on the German Right employed to poison the political atmosphere and demonize their enemies. For them, the lie was that "Jews and liberals" sold out Germany in World War I; today, the myth is that Bill Clinton actually caused the murder of all those Americans on 9/11 by being so weak and liberal and law-abiding. Thus by extension all those who now dissent against Bush's policies are likewise feckless enablers of terrorism, who would unwittingly -- or even wittingly -- allow more Americans to be killed. Naturally, the crank notion that Clinton had Osama dead to rights in his gunsights but cravenly failed to pull the trigger has been percolating for years in the fetid swamps and fever dreams of the American Right. But the significance of it being taken up like this by ABC, one of the old-line national networks - and being broadcast with such gravitas and fanfare (providing it to schools, airing it with no commercial interruptions for this important production, this vital historical lesson for the American people - as if it were "Schindler's List") - and being broadcast at such a crucial time, in the run-up to a national election - cannot be missed. It is a deliberate act of obesiance to The Leader and his faction. "We are with you, Leader," says ABC; "we will lie for you, we will re-write history for you, we will serve you!" (...) We are seeing the beginning of the endgame here. As I wrote - years ago - in the Moscow Times, the worst will come when this gang of gilded, brutal punks feels cornered, when they feel it starting to slip away from them. Then all the stops will be pulled out, there'll be no more pretense, no more sham piety about democratic values or working within the Constitution, no more subtle media ploys, no more restraint of any kind. That "worst to come" is now getting underway: the hysteria and hardball will keep rising day by day, week after week, as we move toward the election. And if the Republicans lose, it will likely be even worse. As the levers of lawful power will be in the hands of Democrats then - and as Bush and his minions have clearly broken the law and will be subject to prosecution under a lawful Constitutional government - they will finally have to dispense with law altogether...unless of course it's martial law, proclaimed after some timely national emergency. read in full...
DISNEY'S "PATH TO 9/11" IS PAVED WITH... This is what it's about, right? The only reason a conglomerate like Disney/ABC would consider broadcasting false propaganda like "Path to 9/11" is that a desperate Corleone Bush administration quietly hinted at a lucrative post-election legislative/policy reward. Keep making your feelings known to ABC Television and/or former Sen. George Mitchell, who is Disney's chairman of the board. Thanks! link
BREAKING: BIN LADEN INVOLVED IN PLANNING 9/11!!! The Right side of the Blogosphere is drooling all over themselves crowing about this.
A tape of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda members purportedly preparing for the Sept. 11 attacks has aired on the Arab TV station Al Jazeera today. The tape is said to have been filmed in Afghanistan. Al Jazeera said before airing the video that it was new and that it showed bin Laden personally and directly supervising the planning of the attacks. The video shows bin Laden sitting in a mountainous area surrounded by other men, including Ramzi Bin al Shiba and Abu Hafs al Masri.
Not for nothing, but WTF? It's been common knowledge for years that OBL was behind 9/11. What's the dif if he did or didn't meet with some of the hijackers? Does that mean he's more involved than before? Jeebus, get a fucking grip. link QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The intensity and ferocity of the fighting [in Afghanistan] is far greater than in Iraq on a daily basis." -- Brig. Ed Butler, the commander of British Forces in Afghanistan


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