Saturday, September 02, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2006
Two civilians were shot and wounded in Abu Saida, northeast of Baquba.
Two people were wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in a drive-by shooting in Baquba.
Three policemen and three civilians were killed and four policemen and six civilians were wounded in seven separate attacks in Baquba. Three gunmen ambushed a traffic police patrol and killed three policemen, including a major, in the centre of the city. In Baquba's northwestern Yarmuk neighbourhood, gunmen killed two civilians, while another civilian was shot dead in the western Mualimin neighbourhood. Also in Yarmuk, gunmen attacked a police patrol and wounded four policemen, while a mortar attack on a house in the same neighbourhood left two women and two girls wounded. In another attack, gunmen wounded a civilian in the centre of the city, while another Iraqi was wounded in Baquba's western Mafraq area, police said.
Three Iraqi civilians were killed Saturday and their car was destroyed when a US armoured vehicle opened fire on their car in Fallujah. The armoured vehicle opened fire on the civilian car in al-Karma district 15 kilometres north of Fallujah after the car approached the armoured vehicle by mistake.
Three Iraqis were killed and 15 wounded, three of them critically, when a car bomb exploded near a market in northern Hillah in the Mashrouh district.
Several mortar shells fell on a residential area in the
A mortar attack on an open-air market in Mahmoudiya killed three people and wounded 12.
Gunmen shot and killed two men in center of the Muqdadiya.
At least 14 pilgrims were killed when gunmen halted a bus headed to the holy Shiite city of
The U.S.-led military command said it conducted an airstrike Friday in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of
Expanded security: Iraqi forces will expand their security operation into eastern
Rescue crews pulled bodies from the rubble after Thursday night's violence, which police said included explosives planted in apartments, car bombs and several rocket and mortar attacks on mainly Shiite neighborhoods.
The bloodshed capped a violent week that saw hundreds of Iraqis killed, despite a massive security crackdown that has targeted some of
Innovation: The civil defense men in blue uniforms joined neighborhood volunteers picking through the rubble with their hands, there being no heavy equipment to aid in this desultory task. Dedicated young men used a nylon sack to bag jagged bits of flesh, now destined for a proper Muslim interment. "Why so many explosions at the same time?" asked Mohammed Mayahi, 57, whose sons were among the people burrowing for signs of life and death in the heap of debris that a day earlier had been a two-story apartment building, alive with families, shops and a restaurant. "How can people protect themselves? From which enemy? We must be vigilant, yes, but against which form of killing?"
Such was the doleful and confused scene Friday in the east Baghdad neighborhood of Habibiya, where something--a rocket, a bomb, a mortar shell, no one seemed to know quite what it was--tore into a building just before sundown as residents gathered on the eve of the weekly Islamic day of prayer, rest and contemplation.
The day-after canvas through the ruins has become so familiar in this tormented nation that the images might seem to some people a cliche, the grief ritualized.
But it was all real enough in Habibiya and other districts of east
The fact that this report was released on the Friday before a holiday weekend was surely pure coincidence: Sectarian violence is spreading in
In a notably gloomy report to Congress, the Pentagon reported that illegal militias have become more entrenched, especially in
The report described a rising tide of sectarian violence, fed in part by interference from neighboring
Death squads targeting mainly Iraqi civilians are a growing problem, heightening the risk of civil war, the report said.
"Death squads and terrorists are locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife," the report said, adding that the Sunni-led insurgency "remains potent and viable" even as it is overshadowed by the sect-on-sect killing.
"Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in
Do tell: Rising sectarian bloodshed has pushed violence in
Executions, kidnappings, and other sectarian attacks targeting Iraqi civilians have soared over the past four months, contributing to a 51 percent rise in casualties among the population, the report said. More than 3,000 Iraqis are killed or wounded each month, with 2,000 of the deaths the result of sectarian incidents, it showed.
The Pentagon report, though consistent with what news media have reported for months, is significant because it represents an official acknowledgment of trends that are widely believed to be driving the country toward full-scale civil war.
Now the mission is to prevent civil war? 140,000 troops in a country of 27 million and their mission is to prevent civil war? How exactly are they going to do that? Wouldn’t it be more fruitful just to have them go look for WMDs? Safer, too. -m
A forehead slapper: The
Thirty percent of the projects inspected by his office had not met the required standard and some were outright failures.
This is an underexamined story: James Baker, the former
Baker sat down with Salam al-Zubaie to discuss protection of
Baker, a Republican, co-chairs the bipartisan Iraq Study Group with Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman. They are carrying out an independent analysis of the situation in
Baker, the Bush family fixer, must have been given the job of bailing Junior out of yet another disaster of his own making. Good luck with that, Jim. I’ll bet you’re kicking yourself in the ass for having done such a good job fixing the 2000 election, you sleazy dick. -m
Ultimately, I think this meeting will have more consequence: Nuri al-Maliki,
Al-Maliki met Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Saturday in Najaf, 160km south of
According to the cleric's office, al-Sistani said: "If the government does not do its duty in imposing security and order to the people and protecting them, it will give a chance to other powers to do this duty and this is a very dangerous matter."
Mother Jones: Lie by Lie: Chronicle of a War Foretold: August 1990 to March 2003
The first drafts of history are fragmentary. Important revelations arrive late, and out of order. In this timeline, we’ve assembled the history of the Iraq War to create a resource we hope will help resolve open questions of the Bush era. What did our leaders know and when did they know it? And, perhaps just as important, what red flags did we miss, and how could we have missed them? This is the first installment in our Iraq War timeline project.
This appears to have the potential to become an extremely useful resource. I hadn’t time to examine it in detail – if anyone takes the time to look it over carefully please share your opinions. I wonder if the people putting it together know Today in
Good thing Bush is too high minded to politicize the war on terror: The White House is bringing representatives from countries that have suffered terrorist attacks to populate the audience at President Bush's next war-on-terror speech, to emphasize the global nature of the enemy.
Bush often ticks off a list of attacks from recent years, such as those in London, Madrid, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to demonstrate that the world should be united against Islamic militants who share a purpose if not a common network.
In a speech Thursday that launched a new offensive to build support for the
The president included under that large tent Sunnis who swear allegiance to al-Qaida, Shiites who support groups such as Hezbollah, and so-called "homegrown" terrorists with more local grievances.
Speaking before an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, Bush said the global war against these terrorists — whom he said share "the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam" — is today's successor to last century's fights against Nazism, fascism and communism.
No tactic is too sleazy for Karl Rove: President Bush and his surrogates are launching a new campaign intended to rebuild support for the war in
With an appearance before the American Legion in
Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics "claim retreat from
Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from
Bush will be remembered for many things but leading the ‘decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century’ won't be one of them: President Bush said Thursday that withdrawing now from Iraq would leave Americans at risk of terrorist attacks “in the streets of our own cities,” and he cast the struggle against Islamic extremists as the costly but necessary successor to the battles of the last century against Nazism and Communism.
“The war we fight today is more than a military conflict,’’ Mr. Bush said in a speech to veterans at an American Legion convention here. “It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century.’’
The speech, the first of five addresses on national security Mr. Bush plans to deliver between now and Sept. 19, was part of an orchestrated White House offensive to buttress public support for the
Even as Mr. Bush spoke, a series of explosions ripped through Baghdad, providing more images of a sort that he acknowledged have been “sometimes unsettling” to the public.
Fingers in his ears, singing “Lalala”: President George W. Bush rejected the idea on Saturday that
Bush, who has renewed his effort to bolster sagging public support for the war ahead of the Sept. 11 anniversary and crucial U.S. elections in November, framed the debate over Iraq as a choice between staying the course or pulling out precipitously and handing the country over to terrorists.
He cast the war as an integral part of the broader battle against terror and said defeat in
"The terrorists understand the threat a democratic
Assessing the situation in Iraq over the past three months, the Pentagon said on Friday that attacks rose by 24 percent, Iraqi casualties soared by 51 percent and the violence was extending north beyond Baghdad.
The report acknowledged conditions that could lead to civil war were present in
"Our commanders and diplomats on the ground believe that
Won't work this time: In both national elections since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush and congressional Republicans successfully played the national-security card to win big victories against the odds. Now, with their party's control of Congress at stake, Republicans are betting on the issue again. But it may not be the trump card it used to be.
The public's patience has frayed as the
Democrats are also pressing an argument opposite to the president's: that
Gutless bastards need to take a leaf from Rocky’s book: Under assault from Republicans on issues of national security, congressional Democrats are planning to push for a vote of no confidence in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this month as part of a broad effort to stay on the offensive ahead of the November midterm elections.
In Rumsfeld, Democrats believe they have found both a useful antagonist and a stand-in for President Bush and what they see as his blunders in
But even before that, Democrats and some Republicans had maintained that Bush has never held anyone in his administration accountable for decisions in the
What is wrong with these people? Why attack a stand-in for Bush? Attack Bush! The war is his baby, he wanted it, he got it, he’s responsible! What, are they afraid someone might call them appeasers or something? -m
Rats in the lifeboat: Like many Republicans seeking re-election this year, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi is distancing himself from President Bush.
"I can’t defend how the president laid out the need for (going to war in
The comments from the three-term congressman came during a meeting before the Dispatch editorial board with challenger Bob Shamansky, whose spokesman revealed that the Bexley Democrat has committed more than $1 million of his own money to the race.
Asked whether Bush has operated above the law regarding government surveillance, Tiberi responded: "He might have."
The comments signaled a clear effort by Tiberi, a longtime Bush loyalist, to separate himself from the president.
It’s a growing trend.
But this is what will save their fat white Republican asses – the United States of Apathy: It was almost painful the other night to hear
The audience rose for Neil Young’s blast at George Bush, “Let’s Impeach the President,” and sang the words displayed on a huge TV screen, even the 20-something in front of us who had been text-messaging throughout the concert. That same screen also displayed thumbnail photos of slain soldiers while a counter ran up the most recent toll. It takes longer than you might think to count to 2,600.
It was a surprisingly political moment for a rock concert in 2006. But when those four men sang their protest songs four decades ago, their lyrics echoed and personified a powerful political movement sweeping
There were a few political booths outside the Theater at
This, perhaps, is the ultimate difference between the
The Other War – The One Being Waged On Our Civil Liberties
Nationalizing the Guard: The nation's governors sought help Thursday from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in their ongoing fight against proposals in Congress to give President Bush more control — and governors less — over the National Guard during disasters.
A letter from the two chairpersons of the National Governors Association, along with the two governors who head the group's work on the Guard, asked Rumsfeld to join the unanimous opposition of governors to proposed changes spurred by the chaos and delays in sending help that followed Hurricane Katrina.
All 50 governors earlier this month signed a formal letter opposing a House provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would let Bush federalize the Guard without governors' consent in the event of a "serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe."
Adding to their worries, the NGA said, the Senate approved-version of the legislation would give Bush similar powers by redefining the Insurrection Act, a Civil War-era law that's rarely used.
"It's a basic reshuffling of the balance between the states and the federal government," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, chairwoman of the NGA. "It's ill-advised. It's a bad idea."
Project Strikeback: The Federal Education Department shared personal information on hundreds of student loan applicants with the Federal Bureau of Investigation across a five-year period that began after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the agencies said yesterday.
Under the program, called Project Strikeback, the Education Department received names from the F.B.I. and checked them against its student aid database, forwarding information. Each year, the Education Department collects information from 14 million applications for federal student aid.
Information collected on federal financial aid applications includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, incomes and, for some students, information on parents’ incomes and educational backgrounds.
We will spy on you for your own good: The government needs broader access to airline passenger information to identify potential hijackers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in an article published Tuesday.
"How do we thwart a terrorist who has not yet been identified?" Chertoff wrote in an op-ed article in Tuesday's editions of The Washington Post.
"One way is by using more of the detailed information collected by airlines and travel agencies when an individual books a flight," Chertoff wrote. "These passenger name records contain information, such as travel itineraries and payment details, that can be analyzed in conjunction with current intelligence to identify high-risk travelers before they board planes."
They’re terrorist organizations if Rumsfeld says so. What, you want proof, you cowardly appeasers?: For the past four years, the U.S. military has held Adel Hassan Hamad in the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, based in part on allegations that he worked for two charity groups in Afghanistan that the U.S. military says support terrorism, according to the military's summary of evidence against Hamad.
But neither of the charity groups for which Hamad worked appears on the State Department's list of designated terrorist organizations.
In the case of another Guantánamo prisoner, whose name does not appear in the record, the
But that group is also one of the largest charities in
Scores of prisoners at
LA Times: One effect of Rumsfeld's outburst was to serve as a reminder that he is still in office. Once the public face of the war in
"I am a proud Republican, who ran for my party's nomination for Congress in
I also believe we need to be vigilant in defending
First, we are not fighting an enemy that fits the definition of fascist, nor does
Because we have so many troops committed in
The only way to combat the threat of Islamic radicalism around the world, and protect
Until the administration realizes this, the lives of every American are at grave risk."
Robert Parry: In a world that wasn’t upside-down, the editorial page of Washington’s biggest newspaper might praise a whistleblower like former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for alerting the American people to a government deception that helped lead the country into a disastrous war that has killed 2,627 U.S. soldiers.
The editorial page also might demand that every senior administration officials who sought to protect that deception by leaking the identity of a covert CIA officer (
If future historians wonder how the
Media Matters for America: Following the disclosure by Newsweek that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was columnist Robert Novak's original source for Valerie Plame's identity, a Washington Post editorial asserted that this revelation proved "untrue" the notion that White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to reporters in an effort to "ruin [Plame's] career" and "punish" her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
A September 1 Washington Post editorial asserted that the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was columnist Robert D. Novak's original source for former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity proved "untrue" the notion that White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to reporters in an effort to "ruin [Plame's] career" and "punish" her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. To support its assertion, the editorial quoted from an August 29 Post article by staff writer R. Jeffrey Smith, in which Smith wrote that Armitage disclosed Plame's identity "in an offhand manner, virtually as gossip." However, the assertion that it is "untrue" that White House officials "orchestrated the leak of Plame's identity" is contradicted by many other Post articles published in the three years since Novak's column, as well as by court documents filed by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald -- which the Post acknowledged later in the same editorial.
John Prados: The correct lesson to be drawn from
Bush administration history is like their reality—faith-based. President Bush himself, along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, characterized those who saw and spoke the truth about the run-up to the Iraq war as “revisionists”—historians who try to change the conventional wisdom about the past. Cheney not long ago declared it was “inexcusable” to repeat that truth. The same speeches that contain the Munich claims portray the Iraqi and Afghan people as “awakening to a future of hope and freedom” (Cheney) and say the U.S. strategy in Iraq “has not changed” (Rumsfeld).
The faith is that if you repeat falsehoods enough times the public will believe them. There is another historical analogy there—a real one—to Adolf Hitler’s henchman, Josef Goebbels. He called it the “Big Lie.” No wonder the administration’s flacks need friendly audiences.
Peter W. Galbraith: In his most recent justification of his Pentagon stewardship, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reached back to the 1930s, comparing the Bush administration's critics to those who, like US Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy, favored appeasing Adolf Hitler. Rumsfeld avoided a more recent comparison: the appeasement of Saddam Hussein by the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The reasons for selectivity are obvious, since so many of Hussein's appeasers in the 1980s were principals in the 2003
In 1983, President Reagan initiated a strategic opening to
Rumsfeld never mentioned this blatant violation of international law to Hussein, instead focusing on shared hostility toward
This message was reinforced by
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: There are at least three pieces of falsely based rhetoric that are beginning to emerge in the fall political campaign that need to be put into context now, early in the game.
All three are being put forward by senior
The first of these is that any American who does not believe that the United States should stay in Iraq, to pursue President Bush's vanity war to the end and continue to lose young fighting Americans as well as burn up formidable amounts of cash, is somehow not only wrongheaded but also a traitor who does not really love freedom.
This is a scurrilous lie, insulting and a disgusting slur on good Americans -- Democrats, Republicans or independents -- who believe that it is time the nation found a way to bring an end to a war that is now more than 3 years old.
A second, very misleading, line that, notably, Republican Senate candidate Santorum is using, most recently at a talk in
In addition, what is going on in the
Mr. Santorum has given no previous indication of any knowledge of foreign affairs, but waving around the words "Islamic fascism" may take the cake.
The third falsely based line that some Republicans are throwing around is an effort to draw a link between the situation in Europe in the 1930s -- Hitler, British Prime Minister A. Neville Chamberlain's 1938 Munich deal, the Holocaust carried out by Germany and other nations against the Jews of Europe -- and some Americans' advocacy of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The two situations have nothing whatsoever in common -- even the fact that Mr. Chamberlain saw himself as trying to preserve peace in Europe, whereas the Bush administration is trying to find a way to say it's been successful in Iraq despite the fact that none of its stated invasion objectives (apart from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein) have been achieved.
What would be most useful for
The Capital Times: When will the Bush administration acknowledge that
Not, it seems, until it is much too late to save the lives of thousands of young American servicemen and women who will die in someone else's fight.
Just last week, top military and civilian apologists for the White House's misguided mission in the
They were, as has so frequently been the case since the president ordered
Brent Budowsky: We should ask the president, who dares to compare himself with the leaders of the Second World War: why do you send our troops to war without enough armor, bandages and helmets? Why do you mismanage the war you wanted so desperately that the Marine Corps estimates that 70% of our casualties were preventable?
We should ask the President, who presumes to compare himself to the great generation: how can you permit up to 19% of active duty troops to be paid so poorly, and treated so badly, that they are forced to desperately borrow money at Mafia-like interest rates of 300 to 400% while you go to your glitzy fundraisers and tell millionaire contributors eating filet mignon how much you support the troops?
We should demand of this man who dares to compare himself to those who rallied a united America in the 1940's: why do you permit oil company executives to pay each other hundred million dollar packages, while Middle America gets ripped off at the pump, poor Americans must choose between hunger and freezing in the winter, vets get hurt by closing military hospitals, and troops get hurt by Republicans pushing to cut funding for brain injured heroes?
We should challenge this partisan, who compares himself to Eisenhower and to
We should demand of this partisan who compares himself to the founders of NATO: why did you almost completely ignore the advice of our democratic allies, why did you so shamelessly demean the Chief of Staff of the Army and others who warned you, and why have you totally and completely failed to exercise the diplomatic and political leadership that is a prime duty of the leader of the free world?
We should challenge this partisan whose mistakes, blunders and wrongs have created so many new terrorists around the world, and done so much damage our reputation and credibility everywhere, and imposed so much harm to our military families and troops: exactly how many more wars do you want to fight?
We should ask the President, Republican Congress and their talk show warriors: If you want war with
If you want war with
If you want war with
If you want world war, permanent war, and endless war while you oppose every diplomatic opening urged by our allies: who will fight, who will sacrifice, and who will pay for this war fever and war partisanship that has done so much damage to our nation, our security and our military families already?
Private First Class Colin Wolfe, 18, died Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province. Wolfe was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, at
Four soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near their M2A3 Bradley Vehicle during combat operations in
Residents of Dent,