Monday, November 13, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2006 Note: Due to unanticipated circumstances, Matt was unable to post today, so I'm filling in at the last minute. It's a regular work day for me, so this will have to be an abbreviated post. -- C Security Incidents As provided by Whisker Baghdad: #1: bomb exploded in a minibus in eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing 16 people and wounding 20, police said. The bombing occurred shortly after midday in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Shaab, police Lt. Ali Muhsin said. More here. #2: . Police in western Baghdad found four bodies that had been shot. The victims were handcuffed and their bodies showed signs of torture, police 1st Lt. Maithem Adbel-Razzaq said. #3: A roadside bomb went off near a U. S. patrol on a highway in eastern Baghdad on Monday, damaging two U.S. Humvees, a well-informed police source said. "A roadside bomb detonated at about 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) near a U.S. patrol on the Muhammad al-Qasim highway near Zaiyounah district," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Two U.S. Humvees were damaged in the blast, the source said, without disclosing whether there are any casualties as the U.S. troops sealed off the area. #4: Earlier, a civilian was wounded and a dozen of cars were damaged when a car bomb detonated in a park near the Iranian embassy in central Baghdad, the source said. Witnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the car was parked in front of a busy garage near the gate to the Green Zone, previously home to several of Saddam Hussein's palaces and now the seat of coalition forces and foreign embassies. The Iraqi Olympic committee and the Embassy of Iran are also located near the site of Monday morning's blast. No casualties were reported in the attack but a number of cars were destroyed in the ensuing blaze. #5: Unknown gunmen assassinated a high-ranking police officer and his driver in central Baghdad on Monday, an Interior Ministry source said. Gunmen killed Brigadier Salih Kamel, from the Iraqi traffic police, in the Waziyria neighborhood while he was heading to his work, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Kamel is the second high-ranking traffic police officer being attacked in two days. #6: Gunmen also opened fire on the car carrying a presidential council adviser as it drove through Mansur in western Baghdad, killing two bodyguards. An Interior Ministry source said gunmen attacked cars carrying guards of Vice-President Adil Abdul Mahdi, killing two and wounding a third, however the vice president's office denied his guards were involved. Abdul Mahdi was not present at the time. #7: Gunmen stormed a petrol station on Sunday and seized 18 men, the Conference of Iraqi People party, one of the three Sunni parties forming the Iraqi Accordance Front, said. They killed four of them and released the others, the source added. #8: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military patrol and wounded two civilians in al-Ardun square in western Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. #9: Gunmen abducted police Major Muhammed Salim in the central Karrada district of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. Diyala Prv: #1: In Diyala, the increasingly volatile province northeast of Baghdad, council member Assim Mahmoud Abbas was killed in a drive-by shooting, council head Ibrahim Bajilan said. Fellow council member Ali Salboukh was wounded in the attack on their car in Waziriyah, northeast of the capital. #2: Gunmen matching the description of those who kidnapped a group of Shi'ite travellers in the town of Latifiya late on Saturday kidnapped 10 people in the town of Efeg on Sunday, police said. Police backed by U.S. forces were conducting a major search for the kidnappers around Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. Baqubab: #1: Sunni Sheik Namis Karim was gunned down Monday morning as he was heading to the Abbasiya Mosque in downtown Baqouba, police in the city said. #2: Also in Baqouba, which is 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, police reported finding the bodies of two women who had been shot to death. A civilian was reported gunned down in the downtown district as well. Basra: #1: Two Indian truck drivers have been arrested in Iraq for illegal entry and efforts are on to get them released, the government said on Monday. Ashraf and Fracis, both from Kerala, are employees of the American company Public Warehousing Company and were driving trucks into Iraq from Kuwait when they were detained on November 6 at Subair in Basra, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said. Along with them, a Pakistani, a Nepali and a Turkish national, were arrested, as all of them were part of a convoy, Ahamed said. They were arrested for non-possession of valid documents, he said. Earlier, reports had suggested that they had been abducted. Yusufiya: #1: Police found the bodies of five people between the towns of Yusufiya, 15 km (9 miles) south of Baghdad, and Mahmudiya, police said. Two had been beheaded, the others shot. Salah ad Din Province: #1: Two Task Force Lightning Soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, were killed Sunday when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle while conducting operations in Salah ad Din Province. Two other Soldiers were wounded in the blast and were transported to a Coalition forces medical treatment facility. Mosul: #1: Among others killed Monday was a cameraman for Iraq's independent Al-Sharqiyah satellite television broadcaster, Mohammed al-Ban, who was gunned down leaving his Mosul home Monday morning. His wife was wounded #2: Gunmen killed a policeman in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Kirkuk: #1: A roadside bomb exploded near the convoy of army General, Anwar Amin, and wounded three of his guards near Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Whisker sends in some updates: Baghdad police recovered the bodies of 46 people around the city in the 24 hours to Monday evening, one of the highest tolls of suspected sectarian death squad victims in recent weeks, an Interior Ministry source said. A road side bomb was exploded in Baghdad also targeting an American military patrol near the Technological university damaging a Hummer and injuring the soldiers inside of it. Mortars injured two people in the northern Baghdad outskirt of Husseniya, police said. Four male primary school teachers were killed while driving in their vehicle in the violent oil city of Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The teachers were killed by gunmen riding in another vehicle, police said. OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY Update: Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif departs for meeting in UAE to discuss regional security, calls Iraq a "major base for terrorism." Hmm. Didn't all those Sept. 11 hijackers come from Iraq, or am I remembering incorrectly . . . I think I saw it on Fox News. Turkish man abducted in Iraq in July has been killed, according to the Turkish foreign ministry. Iraq Study Group (the "Baker Commission") meets with White House Occupant. However, this is not a substantive event, apparently. "White House Press Secretary Tony Snow describes the meeting as a conversation in which both sides shared views. Snow says there was no presentation of alternatives, just an assessment of the situation on the ground now." Blair asks 'axis of evil' for help in Iraq. (The telegraph's headline, not mine.)
By George Jones, Political Editor Last Updated: 2:26pm GMT 13/11/2006 # Government 'playing politics with terror' Tony Blair will call tonight for dialogue with Iran and Syria to secure peace in Iraq and the Middle East. The Prime Minister will use a major foreign affairs speech to the City of London to warn both states - once named by George W Bush as members of the "axis of evil" - of the consequences of failing to help. He will say they have a choice: stop supporting terrorism and help achieve stability, or face continued isolation from the international community. Mr Blair will expand his point tomorrow when he addresses an influential US panel studying future Iraq policy. snip Although Mr Blair's call for more contact with Iran and Syria came a day after another four British troops lost their lives to the conflict in Iraq, Downing Street denied that it was a change of policy. Officials said the Prime Minister would restate a message to Iran and Syria which he first articulated when speaking in Los Angeles in August. He said then he wanted to tell Tehran and Damascus: "The message is, if you stop supporting terrorism, if you stop trying to acquire nuclear weapons and don't breach your international obligations, then we are willing to have a partnership with you, but if you export terrorism around the region and destabilise democracy in Iraq, we will confront you." The spokesman said Britain was not offering "concessions" to Iran and Syria in return for their co-operation, but making clear that it was willing to have a partnership with them only on the condition that they play a constructive role. Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, last night said that it was intolerable for Mr Blair to speak to an American inquiry while blocking attempts by Parliament to investigate the conflict.
Rice delays trip to Vietnam to attend meetings on Iraq. "State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said . . . Rice's decision was not related to her 1:05 p.m. (1805 GMT) meeting at the White House on Monday with the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel charged with coming up with recommendations on how to bring peace to Iraq." In-depth reporting and analysis Troops tell their stories of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the Montana Standard. Excerpt:
By Leslie McCartney 11/13/2006 Sept. 6, 2005, started out like any other day in Iraq for Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Tim Colvin. He and three other fellow guardsmen from Company B of the 163rd Infantry climbed aboard their nearly new Humvee and headed out to check a nearby town’s polling area. Suddenly a roadside explosive device ripped through the bottom of the Humvee sending shrapnel, flesh and blood everywhere. “My first initial thought was, ‘what the hell?’’’ Colvin recalled. He looked over to his driver — whose face was covered in blood — and urged him to keep driving. “We were still in the kill zone,” said Colvin, who issued commands despite his daze and shock. After reaching a safer place, Colvin jumped from the Humvee to check the rest of his men when he collapsed on the ground, unable to walk. It would be quite some time before he would walk unaided again. Rushed by Humvee to a waiting helicopter, then to a nearby hospital and eventually to Germany and the United States for treatment, Colvin’s road back would be long: The rear of his right leg had been shredded by metal pieces, leaving very little muscle. Luckily, the metal missed major arteries and tendons, but because of the tissue loss and severe nerve damage, Colvin had to endure nearly 13 surgeries, skin grafts and hours of physical therapy. “It was horrible,” said Colvin’s mother, Margaret Colvin, who still sheds tears thinking about that day. Tim is the youngest of her four children of the Helena family. “He was very, very drugged, and he was just in a lot of pain.” Today Colvin, 35, works in Butte at the National Guard Center, 600 Gilman St., after refusing offers to get out of the Army following his brush with death. A slight limp and facial scars — along with a Purple Heart and pieces of metal dug from his leg — are all that remains of that September day thousands of miles away.
Who will pay for the Iraq war, and when? By Jonathan Coopersmith. Excerpt:
In all the heated words about the Iraq war, we've heard little or nothing about paying for it. Regardless of how you feel about the war, you must concede that it is going to cost us all dearly. The Iraq war is consuming over $1.4 billion a week -- or $200 million a day. In the time it takes you to read this article, the American government will have spent $700,000 on the war. The war has cost $200 billion already. Economists have estimated the war's ultimate bill will be $1-2 trillion, which includes costs such as the hospitalization and long-term care of tens of thousands of wounded veterans, interest payments on the wartime debt and replacement of worn-out equipment. The enormous expense of the Iraq war is no surprise: historically, wars cost money, lots of it. In the past, paying for wars has often provided the impetus for new and more efficient ways of taxing citizens. Lotteries, an essential source of income for 42 states today, helped pay for the Revolutionary War. The income tax first surfaced in the United States to pay the huge costs of the Civil War, although the Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional after the war.
Oh yeah, that Vietnam analogy again. (I find this piece fairly banal, but it's a slice of the zeitgeist -- C.) Excerpt:
By Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Four decades after America became bogged down in an unpopular war in Southeast Asia, President George W. Bush finds himself increasingly haunted by an analogy the White House dreads -- Iraq as another Vietnam. The administration insists there are few parallels. Today's war in Iraq is fought by an all-volunteer military, the U.S. body count is much lower and there is nothing like the anti-war protests that caught fire in the 1960s. However, when Bush flies to Hanoi for the first time on Friday to attend an Asia-Pacific summit hosted by former foes, it will be a reminder of striking similarities between the conflicts. Bush loyalists are so uneasy at the thought of Iraq becoming a Vietnam-style failure that some hesitate to even mention the name of the drawn-out war that polarized Americans a generation ago. They refer to it as the "V-word." As public support for Bush's Iraq policy has eroded in the face of mounting U.S. casualties and rising violence, the president can't seem to escape the comparisons. "Iraq is in many ways a quagmire," said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It's a parallel to Vietnam the administration doesn't want to admit." The closest Bush has come is when he mused last month that the latest spike in violence in Iraq "could be" comparable to the 1968 Tet offensive by the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies that helped shift U.S. public opinion against the Vietnam war. The White House denied he was implying Iraq had reached a similar turning point. Instead he meant that America's enemies were trying to influence the U.S. congressional elections. Whether the theory was valid or not, Bush's Republicans took a beating in the Nov. 7 polls, losing control of Congress to Democrats in what was seen as a repudiation of his Iraq policy. That has only further fueled debate on whether Bush, who avoided service in Southeast Asia when he joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, is now saddled with his own Vietnam.
8% of Americans favor sending more troops to Iraq; this week's meet the press features 2 Senators who are in favor of it, you guessed it, Lieberman and McCain. Meanwhile, Lieberman won't rule out jumping to the Republican Party. This would return the Senate to Republican control, since Dick "Dick" Cheney would then cast the deciding vote. He's obviously planning to blackmail the Dems over Iraq. Way to go, wise voters of Connecticut who thought they were voting for a statesman Democrat. -- C As I said, abbreviated post today, so no photo and no Quote of the Day. But I'm looking forward to the quoteworthy contributions from our commenters.


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