Thursday, October 19, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, October 19, 2006 Photo: Kirkuk from 1121 feet, 2006 GoogleEarth view. Bring 'em on: One Soldier assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died Wednesday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. (MNF - Iraq) Bring 'em on: A US military policeman was killed when the vehicle he was in was hit by an improvised explosive device near Balad, a town in northern Iraq which is the centre of a major security operation. OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad: [item about two US helicopters crashing in Baghdad removed; sorry for the mixup – zig] Five people were killed and ten others, including policemen, were wounded in three successive explosions near police patrols in southern Baghdad, a police source said. "Three roadside bombs went off at about 11:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) near a passing police patrols in the Doura district," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The coordinated attack killed five people, including two policemen and wounded ten people, including two policemen, the source said. At least four people were killed and 13 wounded when a pair of roadside bombs went off in quick succession in the same spot in a residential part of the southern Dora district of Baghdad. The first blast killed two civilians and wounded 11. A second explosion five minutes later, targeting police and rescuers who arrived at the scene, killed two policemen and wounded two others, police Lt. Maytham Abdul-Razzaq said. Brigadier General Kadhim Mahdi of the border police was assassinated in the south Baghdad neighborhood of Saidiyah. Two roadside bombs wounded two people near the Iraqi National Theatre in central Baghdad. Gunmen shot dead police Colonel Basim Qasim in Baghdad's southern Saydiya district. Gunmen killed an employee in the Ministry of Higher Education in central Baghdad. Gunmen attacked a police station and killed four policemen and wounded 10 civilians. A car bomb and a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed a civilian and wounded five others, including two policemen, in the New Baghdad district in the east of the capital. 31 bodies were discovered in Baghdad on Wednesday. A bomb planted on the side on the street exploded early today targeting a US tank that was stopped on Al-Jomhouriya Street leaving three American soldiers wounded. A bomb in a crowded market killed 17 shoppers in the market town of Khalis in Diyala province. Nine people were killed in separate incidents across Diyala province, aside from the blast in Khalis, northeast of Baghdad. Gunmen killed four labourers and wounded four others in a drive-by shooting near the town of Khalis, 80 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad. Gunmen killed a man while he was leaving his house in the southern city of Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad. Kut: A roadside bomb hit a convoy of civilian cars south of Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, killing four and wounding one. Mahmudiya: Several mortar rounds landed in a residential district, killing two people and wounding three from the same family in the town of Mahmudiya. The bodies of five people were found with gunshot wounds in the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad. Clashes erupted between the Mahdi Army militiamen and policemen defending the force's headquarters in the center of the city. Two policemen, two militiamen and four civilians were wounded in the fighting, in which mortars, rifle propelled grenades and assault rifles were used, according to Karim, the police captain.
In Amara "rogue elements" of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia fought a pitched battle with Iraqi police, forcing the Iraqi Army to send reinforcements into the town. "Three gunmen and four civilians were killed, and 35 people are wounded, including police, insurgents and civilians," said Zamil al-Oreibi, medical director of the city healthy department. "There are more police casualties, but they have not been recovered yet. The fighting is still going on," he added.
Mosul: A suicide car bomb hit a major police station in the northern city of Mosul Thursday, killing 12 people and wounding 25, many of them motorists waiting to buy gasoline at a nearby gas station, police said. Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew after the attack on Abi Tamam police station at 7:15 am. Police fired into the air in several parts of the city, forcing motorists and pedestrians to scurry for cover. Police. Col. Khalaf Ismail said the bomber was trying to slam a fuel tanker he was driving into the station when he was shot dead by a policeman, igniting the fuel in his vehicle and setting off the explosives. The station commander, Col. Abed Hamed al-Jibouri, said the massive blast caused damage to the police station and destroyed as many as 42 cars waiting to buy gasoline at the nearby gas station. At least two policemen were among those killed in the attack, al-Jibouri said.
A suicide bomber blew up a fuel truck outside a police center in Mosul and rebels fired mortars and fought gunbattles with police across the city in violence that killed 20 people. Shortly after the explosion, insurgents fired mortar shells at another police center and clashed with police. Nine more people were killed in the violence. The northern city of Mosul shuddered under a whole series of apparently coordinated attacks going off every 20 minutes, including several suicide car bombs, mortar fire, and small arms attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi police. Police have closed the entrances to the city and imposed a curfew following the 10 attacks, which took place over just three hours. The toll aside from the truck bomb is estimated at four civilian dead. There is no word about US casualties, and two of the suicide attacks were against US forces. A car bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy, killing a civilian in Mosul. Six suicide bombers in vehicles targeted Iraqi and U.S. security forces in Mosul, a U.S. general said. The attacks, including one involving a fuel truck that killed at least 11 people, were aimed at three Iraqi police stations and two U.S. patrols in the city which is a flashpoint of insurgent activity north of Baghdad.
Kirkuk: A car bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least eight people and wounded 70 more in a crowded market area. The blast targeted a patrol of the Iraqi Army as soldiers were collecting salaries from a bank in the market area crowded with auto-parts and tyre stores. A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol and wounded three policemen in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad. A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded a civilian in Kirkuk. A car bomb killed one person and wounded eight others in Kirkuk. A suicide car bomb killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded four more around 35 km (22 miles) southwest of Kirkuk. Ramadi: An unspecified number of al-Qaida in Iraq militants were killed in clashes with security and tribal forces in Ramadi, Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said at a news briefing. Two suicide attacks killed a total of 18 people. >> NEWS Bush has for the first time acknowledged a possible parallel between the raging violence in Iraq and the Vietnam War. Bush was asked in an ABC News interview late Wednesday if he agreed with a New York Times columnist's comparison of the strife in Iraq with the Tet Offensive, which is considered a key turning point in the US war in Vietnam. "He could be right," Bush said. (......) The White House later sought to put the comparison in context. "The full context was that the comparison was about the propaganda waged in the Tet Offensive ... and the president was reiterating something he's said before -- that the enemy is trying to shake our will," Dana Perino, a Bush spokeswoman, said in a statement. October is on track to be the third-deadliest month of the entire conflict for the military, according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, an independent Web site that tracks war-related casualties. The rise now, in spite of improvements in body and vehicle armor, followed a decision by commanders to increase the number of American troops patrolling Baghdad in an effort to quell the sectarian violence that has engulfed the city. (...) Some 137 American troops died in November 2004, the same month as the second siege of Falluja, where the Americans battled Sunni Arab rebels. In April 2004, a bloody month with the first siege of Falluja and pitched battles between the Americans and Mr. Sadr's militia in Najaf, 135 American troops died. In contrast, the military has not conducted any major operations this month. The military has not initiated a new urban cordon-and-search operation for more than two weeks and has instead focused on patrolling the areas already swept, officials say. The two-month-old U.S.-Iraqi bid to crush violence in the Iraqi capital has not met "overall expectations," as attacks in Baghdad rose by 22 percent in the first three weeks of Ramadan, the U.S. military spokesman said Thursday. The spike in bloodshed during the Islamic holy month of fasting was "disheartening" and the Americans were working with Iraqi authorities to "refocus" security measures, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said. (...) The gloomy assessment of the operation, which began Aug. 7 with the deployment of an extra 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops, was issued at a time of perceived tension between the United States and the nearly five-month-old government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Caldwell said, for example, that U.S. forces had been forced to release Mazin al-Sa'edi, a top organizer in western Baghdad for radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. He said al-Sa'edi was set free on the demand of al-Maliki after being detained Wednesday with five aides for suspected involvement in Shiite militant violence. Iraqi security forces could be ready to take over the battle against insurgents from U.S.-led coalition troops by the end of next year, Iraq's oil minister said Thursday. [included for comic relief -- zig] Slovakia to pull troops from Iraq in February >> REPORTS BBC: In pictures: Iraq bomb blasts CENTAF releases airpower summary for Oct. 19 Nabil's Blog: BACK IN BAGHDAD... Entering Baghdad was the worsest thing that happend to me ever.. I mean I haven't seen Baghdad for three months.. and now its just not the same.. my first words were (THIS IS NOT BAGHDAD).. it was filled with both American and Iraqi tanks.. the streets were filled with barrages.. the soldiers were everywhere.. I mean is that a war forehead or a city??? I reached home about 5:30 pm, I was very exhusted.. I couldn't even stand anymore.. I just hugged my dad and said hello.. and then went to my bed and slept. Next day.. I woke up in the morning.. there was no electricity as always.. made my self a cup of coffee and then went to the super market infront of my house.. the guy who runs the shop is my friend.. so I sat with him for about 15 minutes.. he began to describe the situation in my neighberhood the last 3 months.. the time when I was in Jordan.. He said that we experienced days without electricity and water and other services at all.. he said we couldn't leave our houses.. he said that the streets were empty.. all shops were closed.. there was no people in the streets... and he adds that every day.. they hear that someone they know got killed.. either because he was a sunni or a shitte._in the same day.. I went out to the street in the afternoon.. about 5 pm.. stood with some friends of mine.. and heard some very optimistic news.. they said that a guy they know who lives just three blocks away from my house got kidnapped.. and that the Army found a dead body in the next block for a guy who got killed by shooting in the head..I mean what is this??? whats happening??? we started to talk about the situation in Baghdad.. and our chat ended by how will I go and get back from college everyday.. when it starts..I heard that there are some Al Mahdi militia patrols on the way to my college.. so I just don't know what to do right now.. I don't know even if I can live like this.. and in this country.. But I will say just a few words to the Iraqi and the America governments..(WHAT DID YOU DO TO US????) read in full... Alive in Baghdad: QASEM'S FIRST DAY UNDER ARREST Published October 10, 2006 25 September 2006 For the last 2 days.....many people were killed by US snipers in Qattanah sector, it is the central houses in old Ramad. It is known that there are US snipers in the building of Ramadi museum in addition to snipers in the Passport building, general library and some other buildings near them.... Those snipers found to prevent civilians from use the main street in Ramadi....in addition to killing anybody who is moving around the buildings.... Oh my ......sorry, I could not finish 25 September 2006, I was arrested by US Marines read in full... An Iraqi-born US citizen is in a battle to save his life as he tries to avoid execution in Baghdad. But he's not up against insurgents groups - he's up against the Iraqi and US governments. The man, Mohammad Munaf, was arrested by US troops last year. He was charged with kidnapping three Romanian journalists and holding them hostage for nearly two months. Last week, Munaf was sentenced to death. He's being held in a US-run prison at the Baghdad airport. Munaf maintains his innocence. Just weeks ago, it appeared he would be set free. Munaf's attorneys say the presiding judge promised to dismiss the charges after he concluded there was no material evidence to support a conviction. But then came a strange intervention. Two US military officers appeared in court to advocate giving Munaf the death penalty. One of the officers claimed to be acting on behalf of the Romanian embassy and said Romania "demanded" Munaf be put to death. The two officers then held a private meeting with the judge - without the defense in the room. When he returned, the judge ruled Munaf was guilty and ordered his execution. >> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS AMERICA HAS FINALLY TAKEN ON THE GRIM REALITY OF IRAQ The Baker report on an exit strategy from Iraq, leaked this week in the US, is as sensible as it is sensational. It rejects "staying the course" as no longer plausible and purports to seek alternatives to just "cutting and running". Stripped of political sweetening, it concludes that there is none. America must leave Iraq without preconditions and hope that its neighbours, hated Syria and Iran, can clear up the mess. This advice comes not from some anti-war coalition but from the Iraq study group under the former Republican secretary of state, James Baker, set up by Congress with President George Bush's endorsement. Students of Iraq studies should at this point sit down and steady their nerves. Kissinger is in Paris. The Vietnam moment is at hand. read in full... Zeyad, Healing Iraq: REGRETS Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 Another close friend of mine has been killed in Baghdad. We had lunch together in Baghdad just days before I left. I can't concentrate on anything any more. I should not be here in New York running around a stupid neighbourhood, asking people about their 'issues'. I now officially regret supporting this war back in 2003. The guilt is too much for me to handle. link Xymphora: MY NUMBER OF DEAD IRAQIS IS BIGGER THAN YOURS The Iraq Body Count is in a snit because the new study published by the Lancet regarding the 655,000 excess deaths seriously trumps the numbers they have been publishing. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the methodology of the new study, which was made in the face of a determined American effort not to publicize what is really going on. Americans are obviously morally responsible for the deaths caused by their own troops (all the deaths follow from a completely illegal invasion justified on the basis of what everybody now acknowledges was a pack of lies), as well as those deaths caused as a result of the sectarian violence which followed the American attack on Iraq. The number of deaths caused by America dwarfs any number of deaths that might have been caused by Saddam over the same period. The carnage is intentional, required so the Zionists can achieve their goal of breaking Iraq into three parts. It is so typical that the 'progressives' end up in a pissing match over the numbers, paralleling the bizarre attempts by the right to debunk the study (something like: 'we didn't murder 655,000 innocent civilians, it was only 497,000!'). These attempts put the Bush apologists in the same position as the guy who answers the question 'when did you stop beating your wife?' The Iraq Body Count now finds itself helping the right-wingers. Nice going! If you have their counter on your website, it is time to take if off. If you take the Lancet study numbers and add to it the Afghanistan numbers, and a few more people dead here and there due to the Bush Administration, and remember that Bush is only three quarters done, you are left with the inescapable conclusion that George Bush is one of the greatest mass murderers in modern times, up there with guys like Pol Pot. Americans finally have something to be proud of! link APPEASING THE VOLCANO GODS An analysis of Iraq's disintegration a couple of weeks ago in The Economist said:
Iraq's political parties work on the theory that if you don't fill the post with your partisans, the enemy will fill it with theirs. As a result, say American officers, they can judge the importance of a captured Sunni insurgent or Shia militiaman by the number of high-ranking Iraqi commanders calling up to demand his release.
I thought of that this morning when I read this report from Agence France Presse:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki ordered the release Wednesday of a leading member of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr's political organisation who was detained by US troops, state television said. Relatives and supporters of Sheikh Mazen Al Saedi confirmed he had been released, while a Sadr spokesman said Iraqi interior ministry vehicles brought him to the Shia movement's offices in the Kadhimiya district of Baghdad
I guess the Bushites decided that three weeks before the November elections isn't a good time to tempt the volcano, so they backed down for the moment. link >> BEYOND IRAQ Afghanistan: A suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan killed two children and wounded seven civilians and British soldiers, officials said. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the attack in the town of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province wounded "a small number" of British soldiers. Squadron Leader Jason Chalk, an ISAF spokesman, said he had no reports of British fatalities. A Royal Marine has been killed after a suicide attack in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has announced. The bombing of a NATO convoy in Helmand Province has also left another soldier seriously hurt. A British jeep was reportedly engulfed in flames after the attack. A suicide bomber targeted the vehicle of a British aid group in southern Afghanistan, killing one civilian and wounding four others. The bomber, who was on foot, attacked the vehicle in the town of Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand, said Ghulam Muhiddin, the provincial governor's spokesman. Those killed and hurt were walking on the street. The vehicle was damaged in the blast but it was not immediately clear whether anyone riding in it was injured or killed, he said. BEWARE EMPIRES IN DECLINE The common wisdom circulating in Washington these days is that the United States is too bogged down in Iraq to consider risky military action against Iran or - God forbid - North Korea. Policy analysts describe the US military as "over-burdened" or "stretched to the limit". The presumption is that the Pentagon is telling President George W Bush that it can't really undertake another major military contingency. Added to these pessimistic assessments of US military capacity is the widespread claim that a "new realism" has taken over in the administration's upper reaches, that cautious "realists" like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have gained the upper hand over fire-breathing neo-conservatives. Ergo: no military strike against Iran or North Korea. But I'm not buying any of this. Just as an empire on the rise, like the United States on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, is often inclined to take rash and ill-considered actions, so an empire on the decline, like the British and French empires after World War II, will engage in senseless, self-destructive acts. And I fear the same can happen to the United States today, as it too slips into decline. The decline of an empire can be a hard and painful thing for the affected imperial elites. Those who are used to commanding subservience and respect from their subjects and from lesser powers are often ill-prepared to deal with their indifference and contempt. Even harder is overcoming the long-inbred assumption that one's vassals are inferior - mentally, morally and otherwise. The first malady makes the declining elites extraordinarily sensitive to perceived slights or insults from their former subjects; the second often leads elites to overestimate their own capabilities and to underestimate those of their former subjects - an often fatal error. The two misjudgments often combine to produce an extreme readiness to strike back when a perceived insult coincides with a (possibly deceptive) military superiority. (...) So I believe that the common wisdom in Washington regarding military action against Iran is wrong. Just because American forces are bogged down in Iraq, and Rice appears to enjoy a bit more authority these days, does not mean that "realism" will prevail at the White House. I suspect that the response of declining British and French imperial elites when faced with provocative acts by a former subject power in 1956 [when Egyptian president Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal] is a far more accurate gauge of what to expect from the Bush administration today. The impulse to strike back must be formidable. Soon, I fear, it will prove irresistible. read in full... SHAME ON US ALL History should record October 17, 2006, as the reverse of July 4, 1776. From the noble American ideal of each human being possessing "unalienable rights" as declared by the Founders 230 years ago amid the ringing of bells in Philadelphia, the United States effectively rescinded that concept on a dreary fall day in Washington. At a crimped ceremony in the East Room of the White House, President George W. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 while sitting behind a sign reading "Protecting America." On the surface, the law sets standards for harsh interrogations, prosecutions and executions of supposed terrorists and other "unlawful combatants," including al-Qaeda members who allegedly conspired to murder nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. (...) In signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Bush remarked that "one of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America." Pausing for dramatic effect, Bush added, "He didn't get his wish." Or, perhaps, the terrorist did. read in full...
THE SADDEST EIGHT MINUTES ON TELEVISION If you didn't see Olbermann interview Jonathan Turley last night on the death of habeus corpus, please go watch it. It is far and away the saddest eight minutes of television I've seen in many years. link
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Because they want us to win." -- George W. Bush, answering (shudder) Bill O'Reilly's question "Sixty percent of Americans are now against the Iraq War. Why?", October 17, 2006, (via Whatever It Is I'm Against It)


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