Monday, September 11, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, September 11, 2006 Cartoon by John Serffius Up to four U.S. military vehicles were found burnt out in the Sunni Arab city of Ramadi, 110 km (70 km) west of Baghdad, local residents said. Details of what caused the damage were unclear. There was no immediate U.S. comment. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: A mini bus exploded near an army recruiting center in central Baghdad, killing at least 16 people and injuring 7. Police at Baghdad's al-Yarmouk hospital said they had received 16 bodies from the explosion. There were no reports of Americans injuried in the attack, which took place in Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of Mustansiriya, Police Maj. Hamid Mousa said. At least four bystanders were killed in a bombing that targeted a US military convoy. Police said six people, including a child, were injured in the car bomb explosion in eastern Baghdad, which was reported as a suicide attack. There were no reports of any US injurie, Major Hamid Mousa said. The US command had no immediate comment. Two people who were apparently arriving for work were killed when gunmen opened fire at a telephone exchange center in central Baghdad. Two police officers were killed in clashes in southern Baghdad. Authorities found the bodies of two men dumped in the street in the al-Ubaidi district of Baghdad. Both bodies had their hands and feet tied, were in civilian clothes and had been shot in the head and chest. Iskandariya: Gunmen killed a civilian outside his home in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. Hilla: Militants killed one person in the mainly Shi'ite city of Hilla. The identity of the gunmen and the victim were not clear. Kut: Gunmen killed a policeman when they broke into his house at dawn in the Jihad neighbourhood of the city of Kut, 100 miles south-east of Baghdad. Gunmen broke into the home of a police officer in a town southeast of Baghdad and killed him. Hindiya: Police said they found a man's head at the Hindiya dam, just west of the city of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad. The identity of the victim was not clear. >> NEWS The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Staff at the jail say the Iraqi authorities have moved dozens of terrorist suspects into Abu Ghraib from the controversial Interior Ministry detention centre in Jadriyah, where United States troops last year discovered 169 prisoners who had been tortured and starved. An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning. >> REPORTS U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren't counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country's sectarian violence. In a distinction previously undisclosed, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said Friday that the United States is including in its tabulations of sectarian violence only deaths of individuals killed in drive-by shootings or by torture and execution. That has allowed U.S. officials to boast that the number of deaths from sectarian violence in Baghdad declined by more than 52 percent in August over July. Iraq's oil minister said yesterday Baghdad was considering a new crude oil pipeline for exports from the northern Kirkuk field through Turkey to secure flows often disrupted by sabotage. "We are looking into building a pipeline from Kirkuk that does not pass through the area of other lines which are the target of sabotage," Hussain Al Shahristani said in Abu Dhabi. Shahristani said in an interview another pipeline is under construction and would be "finished in less than a month. It has a capacity of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), which is enough for all of the output of Kirkuk for export". The pipeline under construction will link Kirkuk to the Baiji oil hub and pipeline intersection before it flows into a line to the Ceyhan port in Turkey. >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS WHY "NO PLAN" WAS THE PLAN IN IRAQ Last night, Kevin Drum passed along a stunningly matter-of-fact interview in, of all places, the Hampton Roads Daily Press with retiring Brigadier General Mark Scheid, who was in charge of the logistical planning for the Iraq invasion:
Scheid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like occupation. Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said. "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today. "He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
(See? And people think Rummy is stupid or crazy.) Kevin reacted to the interview by saying, "This is the clearest evidence I've seen yet . . . that all of Bush's talk about democracy was nothing but hot air." Which left Atrios perplexed:
I still have no idea why we invaded Iraq. I really don't.
Fortunately, I think I can help Duncan out. As I wrote just over three years ago, "the war's goal wasn't to project American ideas into the Middle East -- it was to project American power there." But there's more to it than that. read in full… >> BEYOND IRAQ Afghanistan: Canadian troops have pushed several hundred metres deeper into Taliban-held territory with virtually no resistance. The soldiers pounded the area with helicopter and warplane artillery Monday, then advanced about the distance of a football field. Troops found blood trails leading away from heavily fortified trenches, which many officers suspect have been used to launch rockets at Canadians. One soldier was lightly injured while demolishing a Taliban compound. Afghan government forces backed by NATO troops on Monday regained the control of Garmsir district in the southern Helmand province after heavy fighting, provincial police Chief Mohammad Nabi Mullahkhil said. "Afghan and NATO forces launched a big operation against Taliban militias in Garmsir to recapture the district and finally they regained it Monday morning after dislodging militants," Mullahkhil told Xinhua. Canada is preparing to send a squadron of 15 heavy Leopard tanks to Afghanistan to bolster protection for its troops against suicide bombers and Taliban militants, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Monday. The paper cited a military expert as saying the tanks -- part of the Lord Strathcona's Horse unit, based in the Western province of Alberta -- could be sent as early as next week. The expert attended the unit's operations meetings on Saturday. ELECTION 2006 & WORLD WAR III As Americans go to the polls in two months, they should have one thought fixed in their minds: they will be voting on whether to commit the nation to fighting World War III against large segments of the world's one billion Muslims. Beyond the cost in blood and treasure, this war will mean the end of the United States as a democratic Republic. Those are the stakes that were made clear by George W. Bush in an alarmist speech to an association of U.S. military officers on Sept. 5. He declared that the United States must battle not only likely or even possible threats from terrorists, but the most fantastical dreams of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda about a mystical global "caliphate." Adopting some of the most extreme rhetoric favored by his neoconservative advisers, Bush also broadened the "war on terror" beyond al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists and the Sunni-dominated Iraqi insurgency to include the Shiite-run Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and the Shiite government of Iran. read in full... QUOTE OF THE DAY: "What a difference five years have made! (...) Meanwhile, the little president worries about his "legacy" in the history books. But should he get World War Three going there might not be any more history books, a relief to a non-reader like himself." -- Gore Vidal, America's warrior nation - The legacy of 9/11


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