Thursday, September 14, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, September 14, 2006 Photo: An Iraq family mourns as they arrive to take the body of their relative from the hospital mortuary in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday Sept.13, 2006. Police on Wednesday said they found the bodies of 65 men who had been tortured and then shot before being dumped around Baghdad. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) Bring 'em on: Two Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers were killed and 25 Soldiers were wounded by a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at approximately 2:50 p.m. today west of Baghdad. The wounded Soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to a military hospital. Of the wounded, six have been returned to duty and 15 were listed as not serious. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier was killed at approximately 10:45 a.m. today when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died at approximately 2:35 a.m. today from wounds he received when his unit was attacked by small-arms fire southeast of Baghdad. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: A Soldier attached to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, was wounded by enemy fire Wednesday near Mosul. The Soldier was transported to a military hospital where he later died of wounds. (MNF - Iraq) OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: Two journalists have been killed by unidentified gunmen in Iraqs murdered. Freelance photographer Safa Isma'il Enad, 31, was shot in a photo print shop in Baghdad on Tuesday, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an Iraqi press freedom organisation run by local journalists. Two gunmen entered the store and asked for Enad by his first name, a source told the CPJ. When the photographer replied, he was shot. Another journalist, and representative of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, was killed on the same day in the Iraqi eastern province of Diyala. Hadi Anawi al-Joubouri, 56, was ambushed as he was driving 125 miles northeast of Baghdad, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory. His body was found riddled with bullets. CPJ is investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. A car bomb targeting a police patrol in a neighbourhood of northern Baghdad missed, killing a civilian and wounding 13 others. At least eight people have been killed and a dozen injured following a car bomb attack near a passport office in central Baghdad. An interior ministry spokesman told reporters the blast had occurred just off Alawiya Street in one of the Iraqi capital's busiest districts. Police lieutenant Bilal Ali Majid confirmed four police officers were among the injured. The Iraqi army said it had killed three insurgents and arrested 14 during the last 24 hours in different cities of Iraq. Gunmen killed Muthana Ali Hussein, a traffic police Colonel, in the Doura district of Baghdad. Thirty-two bodies, most bound, tortured and executed, were found in various locations in Baghdad over the last 24 hours. This brings the total to nearly 100 in two days. A family of six, including a three-month-old boy, were shot dead in their home in district of western Baghdad, family members said. Baqubah: Two police officers were shot dead by a group of gunmen in Baqouba, 35 miles north-east of Baghdad. Three other people were also killed in the incident. A group of gunmen shot and killed three people in Ghazaniya, just north of Baqouba. Diwaniya: Authorities put the Iraqi city of Diwaniya under curfew on Thursday after a man was killed and several wounded in clashes that followed a US army raid on an office of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Ten people were wounded on Thursday, doctors said, after guards at the provincial governor's office fired on dozens of Sadr followers protesting about the overnight raid. A woman and child were hurt when US troops clashed with stone-throwing Sadr supporters outside their movement's local headquarters. Among the wounded were two policemen, one of them a colonel in charge of the city's emergency task force. Mahmoudiya: Iraqi police found the body of a brigadier in the former Iraqi army two days after he was kidnapped in Mahmoudiya, 19 miles south of Baghdad. Amara: Gunmen killed two Shiite members of the former Baath party in the southern city of Amara, police said. Mosul: Four people were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a U.S. patrol in Mosul. Gunmen killed a police lieutenant-colonel in Mosul. Kirkuk: Unidentified armed men opened fire against a policeman while he was heading for work, where he suffered injuries. Daquq: A member of the city county, and his son were killed in a drive-by shooting in the small town of Daquq, south of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad. Fallujah: A roadside bomb targetting an Iraqi army patrol killed five civilians and wounded 15 outside a soccer field in Falluja. Tal Afar: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a police checkpoint, killing one policeman, in northern Tal Afar. >> NEWS In Baghdad yesterday more than 100 Iraqi MPs signed a resolution to set a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops. The resolution was backed by an alliance of Sunni MPs and Shias loyal to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. It won the support of 104 of the 275 MPs, an unexpectedly high figure, before being sent to a committee for review, a manoeuvre which will delay it for at least six months. The Shiite chief judge trying Saddam Hussein on charges of genocide against the Kurds said that the deposed strongman was not a "dictator." The cordial exchange came after a Kurdish witness told the court how he had managed to meet Saddam to ask of the whereabouts of family members allegedly killed in the brutal "Anfal" military campaign of 1987-88. Seated in the dock, Saddam asked: "Why did you try to meet me when you knew I was a dictator?" The judge, Abdullah Al Ameri, then interjected. "You were not a dictator," he said to Saddam, and suggested that it was the people close to him who had made him look like one. Saddam thanked the judge for his intervention. The latest exchange between Saddam and the judge is expected to further upset prosecutor Munqith Al Faroon who Wednesday demanded Ameri's resignation, saying that he was too lenient toward the defendants. >> REPORTS DAHR JAMAIL: MEANWHILE IN BAGHDAD... I've recently received several emails from Iraq. Some, like the first, have been sent to me from people I know. Others were passed on by my friend Gerri Haynes, who receives emails regularly from friends she made during her several trips to Iraq. I include them here, as the brunt of this piece, because they show the living hell that Iraq has become under US occupation. Here is an email from a doctor living in Baghdad:
Although I have perfect job satisfaction as a full professor with an MRCP, FRCP, and two more degrees from London and France, things are so unhappy here in Baghdad. There is no quality of life at all. There are no services; we are loaded with garbage as it is not collected more than once every so many weeks. Garbage collectors are also afraid of being killed. We have almost no electricity, no fuel, bad water supply and what is more, you could get killed whether you are Shi'ite or Sunni if you fall into the wrong hands! I nearly got killed on several occasions! As for our colleagues, nearly none are with me from our class since most have left the country. The last one to leave was Abdul Aal, who left two months ago to Oman. The only one left with me is Khdayyer Abbas, who is a physician in the department of Medicine. It is not a miserable life; if there is a grade more than miserable, then it will be ours!!! We work no more than three days a week in the university. The medical city, which was elegant and beautiful before the occupation, is now surrounded by garbage, barbed wire and concrete blocks from all directions. We don't spend more than three hours maximum at work so that totals nine hours a week!!! This is the maximum that anyone is working. In the afternoons, most of my colleagues say that they have completely stopped going to their private clinics for fear of death or abduction. (...) One month ago there were militia men with their guns storming the dormitories of the resident doctors in the medical city. They were looking for doctors from Mosul or Al-Anbar province. There was a big fuss, and the targeted doctors went into hiding so none were caught. The next day, two of them who were rheumatology post-graduates under my supervision asked me to give them leave to go to their hometowns and not be back except for their exams. I agreed, because they were leaving anyway. They would have been killed if they were caught, not because they have done any crime, but just because they are Sunni from Mosul or Al-Anbar. I believe that many doctors from southern parts of Iraq who were Shi'ites also left the dormitory that day because they feared that they were not safe anymore and it would be their turn with maybe Sunni militia gunmen who will come sooner or later. So everyone left!!!! That same week, I had prepared a lecture for post graduate doctors in the medical city, and nobody appeared since all the resident doctors had left! Many have come back again, but are terrified. Life has to go on.
read in full... TODAY IN RAMADI At 2pm EST [September 11] Qasem explained the situation in Ramadi, where it was 10PM local Iraqi time.
"Now it is calm, but I am in my house, if I go out, I will be killed by snipers. Most of the time we must stay in the house. In front of my house there is a humvee, with United States soldiers. The US arrested more than 10 civilians in the Malaab area." "Until now, the US have crushed many more buildings, and some of these are the government buildings. There are new shortages in the hospital, especially for blood bags. Today the US did not allow for a team of engineers to fix an electricity probelm. Near Alhaq Mosque, there is destroyed electricity transformer ....and it caused more problems for the electricty service. There are some people who want to fix it but the US refused.
read in full... >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS U.S. CAN'T STAY IN IRAQ AND CAN'T LEAVE Kofi Annan, no doubt trying to be helpful, neatly captures the impossibility of the American posture in Iraq.
"The U.S. has found itself in the position where it cannot stay and it cannot leave. I believe that if it has to leave, the timing has to be optimum, and it has to be arranged in such a way that it does not lead to even greater disruption or violence in the region."
I think "optimum" went out the window a while back. link CRASHING THE PLANE OF STATE INTO IRAQ You've heard the President and Vice President say it over and over in various ways: There was a connection between the events of September 11, 2001 and Iraq. Let's take this seriously and consider some of the links between the two. (...) While Americans are planning to remember 9/11 with four vast towers and a huge, extremely costly memorial sunk into Manhattan's Ground Zero, Baghdadis have been thinking a bit more practically. They are putting scarce funds into constructing two new branch morgues (with refrigeration units) in the capital for what's now most plentiful in their country: dead bodies. They plan to raise the city's morgue capacity to 250 bodies a day. If fully used, that would be about 7,500 bodies a month. Think of it as a hedge against ever more probable futures. While the various New York memorial constructions can't get off (or into) the ground, due to disputes and cost estimate overruns, what could be thought of as the real American memorial to Ground Zero is going up in the very heart of Baghdad; and unlike the prospective structures in Manhattan or seemingly just about any other construction project in Iraq, it's on schedule. According to Paul McGeough, the $787 million "embassy," a 21-building, heavily fortified complex (not reliant on the capital's hopeless electricity or water systems) will pack significant bang for the bucks -- its own built-in surface-to-air missile emplacements as well as Starbucks and Krispy Kreme outlets, a beauty parlor, a swimming pool, and a sports center. As essentially a "suburb of Washington," with a predicted modest staff of 3,500, it is a project that says, with all the hubris the Bush administration can muster: We're not leaving. Never. (...) Think of that link this way: In the immediate wake of 9/11, our President and Vice President hijacked our country, using the low-tech rhetorical equivalents of box cutters and mace; then, with most passengers on board and not quite enough of the spirit of United Flight 93 to spare, after a brief Afghan overflight, they crashed the plane of state directly into Iraq, causing the equivalent of a Katrina that never ends and turning that country -- from Basra in the south to the border of Kurdistan -- into the global equivalent of Ground Zero. read in full... "IF FIGHTING ERUPTS AGAIN, AND THIS IS VERY LIKELY, WE WILL HAVE A VERY BAD SITUATION" If at first you don't succeed try try again and fail miserably. One has to wonder whether the US occupiers of Iraq and their green zone government are actually trying to turn Al-Qadisiyyah into another Al-Anbar. Al-Qadisiyyah used to be relatively peaceful, then the Americans decided to stir things up a bit. Here's most of Abesada Mujbel's report on the fighting in Diwaniya August 29th:
"Another major Iraqi city is on fire, with scores of civilians killed and hundreds injured in some of the worst fighting since the 2003 U.S. invasion. The fighting, pitching armed supporters of the radical Shiite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr against U.S. and Iraqi forces, has been dragging on since Sunday in the southern city of Diwaniya. Diwaniya is the capital of al-Qadisiya province. Sadr is believed to command a large following in the city home to nearly 500,000 people. Sadr's fighters are entrenched in residential areas and any bid to dislodge them is bound to result in terrible suffering for the population. On Tuesday, Sadr's group was said to have reached a ceasefire arrangement with U.S. and Iraqi troops but residents described the deal as "fragile." The fighting erupted when foreign troops arrested a Sadr militia leader. Diwaniya, a major Sadr stronghold, was until recently relatively quiet. It is not clear why the Shiite-dominated government has decided to move against Sadr at a time his deputies are active in parliament and is part of the ruling Shiite collation. An Iraqi army captain, who did not want to reveal his name for security reasons, said Sadr's militiamen from villages and towns across the province were pouring into the city. He also said the government was sending "more reinforcements" to the city in a show of force. "If fighting erupts again, and this is very likely, we will have a very bad situation," he said." he said.......... " (Emphasis mine - mfi)
I wrote about this aspect of the long-running campaign being undertaken by the American occupation army in Iraq and their green zone government cohorts against Muqdata al-Sadr and the Jaish al Mahdi first on August 28th, and then again on the 29th. As I said at the time: "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." The situation in Diwaniya has been simmering ready to boil over despite the peace deal negotiated in Najaf between Muqdata al-Sadr and Khalil Jalil Hamza the SCIRI appointed governor of Al-Qadisiyyah, a deal promptly vitiated by Interior Minister Jawad Al-Bulani and Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed. Last night fighting in Diwaniya flared again. A report by Yahia Kareem from Aswataliraq includes the following statement from the thought they were going to be running the place but are now reduced to being the Badr Brigade Death Squad Protection and Facilitation Forces American occupation:
"U.S. and Iraqi forces clashed with fighters of the Mahdi Army militia killing one Iraqi civilian and wounding four others in central Diwaniya," [emphasis mine - keep how, according to the Americans, the civilians were injured firmly in mind - mfi]
The cause of the fighting, which spread rapidly, was a series of raids carried out on Wednesday night and this morning by Badr Brigade Death Squad Protection and Facilitation Forces American occupation troops and their Badr Brigade members in uniform sidekicks troops loyal to the green zone government of al-Sadr's offices in Diwaniya. As you might expect fighting erupted and spread rapidly. According to Yahia Kareem's report, the people of Diwaniyya who must be getting pretty tired of this routine by now, decided to give the fighting a wide berth, "the clashes expanded to include various city districts while shops were closed and people stayed at home." This report by Reuters' Imad al-Khozaie clarifies:
"Ten people were wounded on Thursday, doctors said, after guards at the provincial governor's office fired on dozens of Sadr followers protesting about the overnight raid. A woman and child were hurt when U.S. troops clashed with stone-throwing Sadr supporters outside their movement's local headquarters. Among the wounded were two policemen, one of them a colonel in charge of the city's emergency task force. [snip] A local journalist saw soldiers return to the area of the Sadr office, on a crowded, narrow commercial street, later in the morning. People near the office threw rocks at the Americans, and there was some shooting and explosions, he said. He saw an object thrown from a U.S. patrol vehicle, then heard a blast. A woman and her daughter, aged about 8, were hurt, in the explosion, he said. After the U.S. force withdrew, several dozen Sadr supporters marched to the office of the governor, where guards there opened fire on them. Gunmen then also appeared among the demonstrators. [snip] Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has promised to disband militias from all communities and to build up the Iraqi security forces. It is not clear, however, how he aims to persuade the likes of the Mehdi Army to lay down its arms. ......... "[emphasis added - mfi]
Well indeed, it's not clear at all, how the green zone government SCIRI and their American overlords sponsors allies of convenience are going to persuade Muqdata al-Sadr and the Jaish al Mahdi to lay down their arms. Why on earth would they? Their efforts to reach out to their Sunni compatriots are (very slowly) bearing fruit, Al-Sadr has successfully forced Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani from politics, they've managed to bolster their presence in the South despite everything that the British and SCIRI threw at them over the last few years, they've survived repeated attacks on Sadr city and elsewhere and forced Maliki to and criticise and apologise for the attacks on Sadr city itself. What we are seeing today in Diwaniya and elsewhere is a policy of trying to rein in one of the most important political forces in Iraq and a force moreover that, unlike SCIRI, is implacably opposed to Iraq being broken up. Will somebody please tell the Americans that sooner or later they're going to have to negotiate with Al-Sadr - and that you don't extinguish a fire by pouring aviation fuel on it. link TWO SCENARIOS Here are two scenarios depicted by observers. One was in the minority [prior to the illegal March 2003 invasion], but it appears to be the most accurate:
• Today, U.S. soldiers are begging to be sent to Baghdad. They are the most popular people in Iraq. In the evenings, the cafes are jammed with off-duty soldiers who are given free drinks by the establishment's owner, while young, chic Iraqi women are clinging to the soldiers' arms.
Another major contribution to Iraq has been the introduction of baseball to the country. Two major stadiums are now being built. Every evening, U.S. soldiers can be seen instructing young Iraqis in the nuances of the sport. Usually, the parents of the players invite the soldiers to their houses after the practices and honor them with an Iraqi feast to show their gratitude for bringing democracy to their country.
• Iraq is hell for U.S. soldiers. They can not go on any street in Baghdad without heavy armament. Most do not even see the city because they are in the heavily-protected "green zone" or are stationed on military bases which they can not leave unless part of a military convoy. Most convoys are attacked by members of the Iraqi resistance. Sings with statements such as "U.S. Out" or "No to the U.S." are abundant.
Unlike other wars in which U.S. soldiers had the availability of retreating to a safe zone at night, such as Saigon, for entertainment, there is no where for a U.S. soldier to go at night except for base-related activities. The number of pregnancies of U.S. female soldiers is staggering. The U.S. male soldier can not go to Baghdad and find a female to engage with in sex. The soldier can not go to Baghdad to watch a movie, or see a concert, or buy a kabob. Their entire lives are spent on the base or on dangerous missions. The first scenario is what Chalabi told the U.S. administration. The second is real. read in full... >> BEYOND IRAQ Afghanistan: Poland will send at least 900 additional soldiers to eastern Afghanistan next year, the Polish defence minister said Wednesday. The troops are part of an earlier arrangement, however, and were not offered in response to last week's call from NATO for more soldiers in Afghanistan, NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Goetz Haffke said. The soldiers will join 100 Polish soldiers already in eastern Afghanistan. Taliban militants attacked police headquarters in western Afghanistan, raising fears that insurgents fleeing NATO attacks in the south are opening new fronts. Two police and two militants were killed. THE EXPERTS SAY: IT'S A POLICE STATE Critics of the policies of George W. Bush are often greeted with this response: "Who are you to denounce the president? Don't you think he's privy to more information than you are? Don't you think he has all kinds of experts giving him the full picture, which you will never know?" OK, fair enough. Let's see what the experts -- those privy to the full picture, to the secret intelligence, those long schooled in policy and analysis -- have to say. For example, what does the man who was George W. Bush's director of homeland defense on the National Security Council on September 11, 2001, think of the "war on terror" launched by George W. Bush after September 11, 2001? He thinks Bush has exploited the attack to install a police state in America, that's what George W. Bush's director of homeland defense on September 11, 2001, thinks. read in full... POLAR ICE CAP MELTING EVEN IN WINTER! Bad news everyone. The warming has gotten so bad that the Arctic polar ice cap is melting even in winter.
"In the last two winters -- 2005 and 2006 -- the size of the sea ice was 6 percent smaller than average, the data show. The sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere covers nearly 10 million square miles in the winter. The melting -- most of it occurring in the eastern Arctic near the North Pole -- correlates with a rise in the ocean's surface water temperature."
What amazes me, really, is that everybody seems so surprised. link QUOTE OF THE DAY: "According to the news report, US officials claim to be concerned that this massive show of strength by these Shia Iraqis could provoke attacks on them by members of the Sunni community in Iraq. While there may be some truth to this possibility, the fact that the US command is expressing concern is so transparent as to be laughable. After all, the US military and intelligence have certainly killed more of Sadr's supporters than their fellow Iraqis have. " -- from a review by Ron Jacobs of Giuliana Sgrena's book Friendly Fire


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