DAILY WAR NEWS FOR SATURDAY, November 25, 2006
: An Iraqi youth mourns the death of his brother outside the morgue of a hospital in the restive city of Baquba northeast of Baghdad. Iraq said the curfew in Baghdad will be lifted from Monday, as a series of raids by US and Iraqi forces across the war-torn country killed more than 50 insurgents.(AFP/Ali Yussef)
A suicide car bomber attacked a checkpoint near Fallujah on Saturday, killing a U.S. soldier and three Iraqi civilians,
and wounding nine other civilians and an American service member, coalition officials said.
A suicide car bomber attacked a joint US-Iraqi checkpoint near Fallujah on Saturday, killing five Iraqi soldiers, police said. The suspected insurgent rammed his car into the checkpoint in the town of Saqlawiyah, 75 kilometers (45 miles) west of Baghdad, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Saqlawiyah is just north of Fallujah, a city that once was an extremely violent Sunni-Arab insurgent bastion where the charred bodies of four Blackwater security men were hung on a bridge. [same incident as the one above? -- zig]
Bring 'em on
: One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Friday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS Baghdad:
Baghdad was quieter than it had been on Friday
, when rampaging militiamen burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes in the mostly Shiite neighborhood of Hurriyah, witnesses and police said. Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the assault by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia or subsequent attacks that killed as many as 25 Sunnis, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein.
The U.S. military said Saturday that Iraqi soldiers securing Hurriyah found only one burned mosque and were unable to confirm residents' and police accounts that six Sunni Arabs were dragged from Friday prayers and burned to death.
Abu Marwah, who lives in the Jamia area of mainly Sunni west Baghdad with his family, said: " All the men in the area were on alert. We kept in touch with each other and we received information that militias were expected to attack. Of course we all had our Kalashnikovs." He heard eight mortar bombs explode in the night and some gunfire.
Hurriyah, or “Liberty” -- a mixed enclave in western Baghdad -- saw some of the day's most pitched battles. Uniformed men in police vehicles roared through the streets launching rocket propelled grenades into houses and raking Sunni mosques with gunfire, according to an Iraqi police officer stationed in Hurriyah. The attackers killed three security guards at one Sunni house of worship and injured 10 worshipers as they sought refuge in the mosque's sanctuary. "They proceeded to bombard the building with rocket propelled grenades and hand grenades, starting a fire that consumed the structure," said the police officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals. As the uniformed assailants advanced to another area, however, members of the Battawia tribe, a prominent Sunni Arab clan in the area, fought back. "They were ready for them and ... ambushed the attackers, countering them with RPGs and machine guns," the police officer said. A fierce firefight ensued with casualties on both sides. A nearby hospital reported that it had received 28 bodies and 32 injured people.
Mortar rounds killed one mourner at a funeral and wounded six others in the area of Abu Dshir in southern Baghdad, police and relatives of the victims said.By last night, police had discovered at least 11 bodies around Baghdad.
Two civilians were killed in Baghdad by the mortar attacks
that have continued throughout the day in several areas of the city.
(N. of) In an area north of Baghdad, coalition forces attacked three vehicles carrying 12 insurgents
, including one they were searching for because he allegedly was involved in the manufacture of car bombs, the coalition said. The soldiers opened fire on the cars when they ignored warning shots, and all the militants were killed, the military said. No soldiers or civilians were wounded during that operation. The coalition declined to give its exact location.
Clashes and air strikes were reported by witnesses and a police source in Baquba
, north of Baghdad. They said militants swept through the city and attacked a police center, though no casualties were reported.
Gunmen raided two Shiite homes in Diyala province
, a hotbed of Iraq's Sunni-Arab insurgency, and shot and killed 21 men in front of their relatives, police said Saturday. The attack by suspected insurgents on Friday night targeted members of the al-Sawed Shiite tribe in the village of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, a police officer said.
In other parts of Diyala, a largely rural area of farms and orchards, police killed 36 insurgents and wounded dozens of others in clashes
Saturday, police said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces also conducted several raids north of Baghdad, killing 22 insurgents and a civilian, and destroying a factory used to make roadside bombs, the military said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 58 insurgents during fighting in the same region.Basra:
Rocket propelled grenades damaged a mosque, the headquarters for the Supreme Council for the Revolution in Iraq and an apartment complex
in the southern port-city of Basra, injuring 15 people.
During three of the coalition raids that took place north of Baghdad on Saturday morning, soldiers killed 10 insurgents near the city of Taji
, which is 12 miles north of Baghdad and home to a major U.S. air base. An Iraqi teenage boy also was killed and a pregnant Iraqi woman was wounded in the crossfire, the military said.
A roadside bomb killed two guards and wounded three when it targeted the convoy of Brigadier-General Faridoun Talabani
, who was slightly wounded, police said. Talabani is a senior commander in the Iraqi army.
A roadside bomb wounded four policemen when it exploded near their patrol in Kirkuk.
In the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, police found the bullet-riddled body of a pipeline security guard and a bomb damaged the Wahhab mosque
, one of the largest Sunni houses of worship in that city.
Two militants died when a roadside bomb they were planting detonated by accident
, police sources said. The incident happened on a main road near the town of Daquq, 35 km (20 miles) south of Kirkuk.
(Photo caption) Iraqis inspect destruction at the police station of Siniya, near Baiji north of Baghdad, which brought down by an explosion overnight
Iraq's prime minister is facing strong criticism from top Shiite and Sunni-Arab leaders alike
as he prepares for a summit with President Bush next week.
On Saturday, a prominent Sunni religious leader warned that Iraq's escalating sectarian violence will spread throughout the Mideast unless the international community withdraws support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government.
"I call on the Arab states, the Arab League and the United Nations to stop this government and withdraw its support from it. Otherwise, the disaster will occur and the turmoil will happen in Iraq and other countries," said Sheik Harith al-Dhari, who heads the Association of Muslim Scholars.
Last week, Iraq's Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant against al-Dhari, saying he was wanted for inciting violence and terrorism.
On the other side Iraq's sectarian divide, Shiite politicians loyal to the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have threatened to boycott parliament and the Cabinet if al-Maliki goes ahead with the planned summit in Jordan on Wednesday and Thursday, although the White House said the meeting was still on.
The political bloc, known as Sadrists, is a mainstay of support for al-Maliki.
Sadrist lawmaker Qusai Abdul-Wahab blamed U.S. forces for Thursday's deadly attack on Sadr City because they failed to provide security.
Sadr's people are accusing US troops of complicity, if not outright participation, in Thursday's Sadr City blasts.
On Friday, al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric, urged al-Dhari, the Sunni leader, to issue a religious edict condemning Sunni attacks on Shiites.
In an apparent response, Al-Dhari said during his news conference in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday that his Association of Muslim Scholars has repeatedly condemned the killing of Iraqi Muslims and attacks on their homes and mosques.
"YOU WANT SOME WATER? KEEP RUNNING."
From the London Metro
A video showing US soldiers in Iraq taunting thirsty children with a bottle of water has caused outrage. The footage shows a group of children desperately chasing a truck so they can get a drink.
Today the US Department of Defense confirmed the video showed US soldiers and said the images were 'unfortunate'. The faces of the two men in the vehicle are not revealed but they can be heard saying in American sounding accents: 'You want some water? Keep running.'
The video is here:
Baath Party Statement: THE US AND ITS FUTURE ARE HOSTAGES IN THE RESISTANCE HANDS
Our Party, which has completed all the necessary and the fundamental steps to achieve the decisive victory, announces to all Iraqis that the Occupation era is setting down and that the shining sun of a united, Arab, secure, and stable Iraq is rising upon us! Moreover, Iran stooges specially, Ali Al Sistani, the gangs belonging to Badr, Muqtada al Sadr, and those who were given Iraqi citizenship should leave Iraq immediately because they will be judged as spies tomorrow after the liberation. Our Party declares now and for the first time to the Iraqi public opinion that the official civil acts registers for all Iraqis, before the Occupation, are available and in scores of copies in many places inside and outside Iraq for there will be an Iraqi checking up for every individuals staying in Iraq according to these registers.
Our Party asserts again that any harm, his Excellency the President Saddam Hussein and his comrades might suffer will be met in a decisive manner and in many ways, including taking the radical decision to never negotiate even if the US accepts our conditions. Rather we shall prevent any party and through coercion if necessary, from negotiating with the Occupation and we shall intensify every where the attacks against the Occupation forces, preventing them from running until their utter destruction on the soil of Iraq, or to surrender to the Iraqi Resistance, in an utter humiliation watched by the World TV channels, taking into accounts the grave consequences of such events for the US and the World.
The Occupation must understand that the US and its future as a country are hostages in the Party and in the Resistance hands. The US is agonizing in the horrifying Iraqi trap set by the Baath for the decisive victory in the mother of all Battles. Also the US should realize that its forces in Iraq now are verily hostages in the hands of the Iraqi Resistance and that Iraq is a big detention camp for these forces, whose keys are in the Party and the Resistance hands. The US Congress must take a fast decision and pressure the war criminal Bush to sign the immediate withdrawal after negotiating with the National Iraqi Resistance or else the US fate and its future will be decided by the Iraqi Resistance on the soil of Iraq!
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Roads to Iraq: IRAQ EVENTS: 24 NOV 2006
- I thought the attack on the Health Ministry connected to last report that the Ministry stealing Sunnis dead bodies, but its much worst than this.
Health Ministry turns out to be a detention center, alarabalyawm reported that attack on the Ministry took place after militia members abducted people from Adhamiya and took inside the Health Ministry, people from the neighborhood attacked the Ministry to free the hostages.
- Same link above:
Number corpses of the kidnapped employees of Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research found in garbage gathering places._Ministry official who refused to give his name said: The fate of the hostages is unknown, and we have no information about the kidnappers
- Iraqirabita reported that Death Militias attacked Al-Amriya Sunnis district west of Baghdad supported by Iraqi police. Violent clashes took place and Iraqi resistance managed to repel the attack.
Not confirmed yet but a report cited that a number of Lebanese arrested by the Iraqi resistance involved in the attack.
- Iraqnews says that every Sunni district was attacked today by Mortar fires.
I report the following events only because I can't keep up with other attack on Sunnis in different places in Baghdad, until this moments the attacks continues.
"DURING SADDAM'S TIME I NEVER SAW A FRIEND KILLED IN FRONT OF MY EYES"
Against a backdrop of spiralling violence in Baghdad, The Times persuaded six ordinary Iraqis to visit its bureau to describe their lives. Sunni or Shia, they all had a strikingly similar tale to tell
# Saad was a conscript in Saddam's army when US tanks rolled into Baghdad in April 2003. He deserted, went home and celebrated with his family. "We were dancing. I felt like I was reborn," he said. He dreamt of getting a job at the airport that might let him travel.
Today the eyes of this thin young man brim with tears as he recounts what actually happened.
The Americans launched an effort to clear up the rubbish around the capital. Saad risked the charge of collaboration by taking a job as a street cleaner in the Rashid district of west Baghdad for a meagre $5 a day.
That was dangerous enough, but the work became even more perilous when insurgents began seeding roads with improvised explosive devices disguised as rubbish. Street cleaners were blown up, or denounced as informers when they betrayed the location of such devices. "You can't just turn a blind eye. If you leave them there they might kill innocent passers-by," Saad said through an interpreter.
One morning in 2005, two cars drew up beside Saad and his four fellow sweepers and opened fire. Two of his colleagues were killed. Saad wept. "It was a bitter feeling. It was such a minor and simple job, yet you were not safe doing it," he said.
Saad quit. Four months later his older brother and a neighbour were killed in a random attack by Sunni gunmen as they chatted with friends outside the family home in the Hey Amal district of Baghdad. A few days later gunmen opened fire on the funeral.
For a long time Saad did not go out, but eventually he and two younger brothers had to return to work as street cleaners to support their parents and three other siblings. "My friends told me I couldn't keep going on like that and that I had to go out and start working again." Saad has since found eight improvised bombs. He knows five street cleaners who have been killed, and hears of many more.
Two months ago Saad was caught in a car bomb as he was buying cooking gas at a petrol station near his home. He now has a festering wound on his right hand, and although a neighbour drives him to hospital, it lacks the right medicine. He cannot afford proper medical treatment and cannot work.
He has told his younger brothers to go and work in a safer area of Baghdad and, even though the pay is derisory, he will return to his old job if his hand heals - because there is no other work and the family has no other income. "Sometimes my brothers and I look at each other when we get home and laugh at what we have earned," he said.
Saad's dreams were dashed a long time ago. "We always say, 'Inshallah, there will be a solution', but realistically we can't see any hope." Would he like Saddam back? "Yes," he says. "For many reasons. During Saddam's time I never saw a friend killed in front of my eyes, I never saw neighbours driven out of their homes just for their sect, and I never saw entire families being slaughtered and killed."
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>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
SUBJECT: IN IRAQ
From: Ssg Xx, Iraq
To: Gi Special
Sent: November 17, 2006
I am a Viet Nam vet who spent his 55TH birthday in Ramadi and will be spending my 56TH in Balad in a week. I feel I have a unique slant on this "war".
When people say "It's just like Viet Nam", I have to chuckle.
Apart from the fact that the politicians have involved the military in a conflict that is micro-managed to the point of being un-winable, it is nothing like Viet Nam.
I am looking at it from the point of the everyday soldier and his daily life.
It seems that they are so intent on making it so much like "Home", what with the Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Subway. The cable TV and inter-net service are just ways to desensitize to what is actually happening here.
Everyone here and in the states have their knickers in a knot over a casualty count of less than 1000 a year, but you hear nothing of 6000+ 14 to 19 year olds who die in motor vehicle accidents every year. I may be jaded, but I am suspicious of the true concern over "loss of our valued youth" that comes out of the mouths on both sides of the issue.
The true crime here is what we have done to the people of Iraq. Not that I think that Saddam was great for them by any means.
But from what I have seen over the last year is we could not have fucked it up any worse than we have if we had tried.
What I fear the most is the way the American public is willing to give up so many Civil Liberties for such a cheap price.
I mean a few thousand lives, and a false sense of security is a shameful price to surrender Habeas Corpus.
The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves.
I guess I'll get off my soap box now. I hope that our country will survive this mess in spite of ourselves.
Thanks for the chance to vent.
"IT IS IRAQI UNITY ITSELF THAT THREATENS TO DEFEAT THE ENTIRE AMERICAN AGENDA."
The life of an American soldier is more important than the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis. This is not a personal opinion, but one based on facts and truth. Simply put, everyone knows what was done by American forces after one of their soldiers was kidnapped in central Baghdad's Karada district. They rushed to launch search and rescue operations, prevented people from leaving their homes and searched inside each and every house.
For this operation they massed thousands of troops, hundreds of vehicles and dozens of aircraft, and asked all of their local collaborators to dig up any information that could lead to the location of the kidnapped American soldier. Based on newly-uncovered intelligence, American forces then widened the scope of their operations and redoubled their efforts. The Americans didn't hesitate to bomb residential areas and homes during these operations, resulting in the deaths of Iraqis - all in an effort to find one kidnapped American. (…)
American forces have stood silent and U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has ignored the very organized daily acts of kidnapping, torture and killing which unfolded after the February events in Samara. The destruction of the Golden Dome Mosque of the Two Imams was part of a very precisely thought out and well-executed plan to create a schism between Iraqis. Since then, the occupiers have stood watch while "killing according to ID" establish itself [Editor's Note: Killing people based on their Shiite or Sunni identity]. To create additional tension and chaos, the occupier stands by while kidnapping and torture takes place, and implies that the perpetrators are motivated by a native sectarian culture. This is what has set Iraq ablaze. Over recent months, which have witnessed the worst of the murder and torture, U.S. forces have done nothing to prevent or even contain it. To Iraqi eyes, that means this was planned and executed by the occupier and those who collaborate with and execute his plans, which are to dismember Iraq. It is Iraqi unity itself that threatens to defeat the entire American agenda.
If Iraqis want to see the truth and grab hold of it, they should take a closer at this simple equation, which proves that one American soldier is better and more important than all Iraqis put together. This is clear to all with eyes to see.
-- Writer's Name Not Found, Translated By Nicolas Dagher
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Whatever It Is I'm Against It: A THEORY
My theory: Cheney was supposed to make a "surprise" Thanksgiving visit to Iraq, but cancelled when they started setting off car bombs every 15 minutes.
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Gorilla's Guides: SPOT THE LIE. THE RIDICULOUS LIE
Print Story: More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province on Yahoo! News:
More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 5 minutes ago
In the three months since thousands of U.S. forces poured into Baghdad to quash escalating violence, far more American troops have died in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province than in the capital city.
More than two-thirds of the 245 U.S. casualties between Aug. 7, the start of the Baghdad offensive, and Nov. 7 occurred outside Baghdad - which military leaders have called the "center of gravity" of Iraq, and the key to success in the war. Four in 10 deaths over those three months have been in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgency stronghold where U.S. Marines have largely taken the lead.
Marines, who comprise only about 15 percent of the 141,000 U.S. forces currently in Iraq, accounted for nearly 28 percent of the fatalities over the three-month period.
"Baghdad is the center of gravity for Iraq. We must get it right in Baghdad," Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the time. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld added, "Most of the violence occurs within 30 kilometers of Baghdad."
In terms of actual U.S. casualties, the opposite was true.
Little more than a week ago, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, acknowledged that the Sunni-dominated Anbar province was still not under control. Yet, military officials and Rumsfeld have often asserted that most of the violence in Iraq has been near Baghdad, and that the military effort must be centered there.
The problems in Anbar prompted U.S. military officials last week to move more than 2,200 additional Marines to the western province in a short-term effort to shore up U.S. combat power there.
Overall, the U.S. Army - which has roughly 108,000 soldiers in Iraq - has borne the brunt of the deaths throughout the war, including 163 of the 245 deaths the AP looked at during the three-month period. There were 68 Marines killed during that time, along with seven Navy members and six in the Air Force, and one was unknown.
The most prevalent cause of death has remained the same across the country. Roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices caused about 40 percent of the casualties, while another 13 percent were caused by small arms fire or snipers and 33 percent by unspecified combat incidents. Other causes of death included vehicle and helicopter crashes and non-combat incidents.
The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, some soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.
Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, said this week that the decision to send more troops to Anbar is an effort to take advantage of "some of the momentum that is taking place. ... It is reinforcing success based on what we see the tribes doing."
Did you spot it? If you've ever served in an army any
army I'll bet you spotted it immediately. Let's do a little rewrite. Let's change just one weasel word:
The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, link
"BAY OF GOATS"
some most soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.
US and UK troops now face a Dunkirk in Iraq , with US convoys being stopped near the Kuwait border and mercenaries escorting them being abducted .The time for escape is running out from the blow back of the 'Desert Storm". Billions of dollars have been outsourced to mercenaries outfits and others with little audit or control over the loot. Even the British , who occupy regions inhabited by Shias , who were happy with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime but oppose foreign occupation , are quitting Basra and are camping in the safety of the Desert , protected by jets and helicopter gun ships .
-- K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired)
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>> BEYOND IRAQ
Chris Floyd: GIVING THANKS IN THE SHADOW OF THE TERROR WAR
The "War on Terror" represents a horribly, monstrously wrong turn for the United States, Britain, and the world. Like its offshoot, the aggression in Iraq, the Terror War is a strategic disaster of mind-boggling proportions, a moral, political and cultural failure so immense as to be almost unfathomable, an all-corrupting, counterproductive policy of resounding stupidity. We have not even begun to comprehend the scope and depth -- and duration -- of the harm that this reckless, witless, ignorant campaign has wrought. Tyranny, bankruptcy, decay, division, murder, cowardice and deceit -- these have been the hallmarks and the products of the Terror War launched by George W. Bush and Tony Blair, in supposed reaction to the criminal acts of a small gang of cranks.
Short of an all-out nuclear attack, no enemy of the United States today could have ever damaged the nation as badly as Bush has done with his Terror War. No enemy could have deranged America's core constitutional system as badly as Bush has done, turning the government into a lurid perversion of its founding principles. No enemy could have bled America's treasury as dry has Bush has done; not even World War II or the half-century of Cold War left the nation as bankrupt and debt-ridden as it is today, its economy left completely at the mercy of foreign bondholders. No enemy could have devised a better program for undermining the security, solvency and liberty of the United States than Bush's "War on Terror" has proved to be.
So what should be we thankful for today? (In the public sphere that is; I'm not talking here of personal matters.) Perhaps only this: that we have not yet seen the worst of what Bush's Terror War will inflict upon us, and the world.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation. It isn't happening now, but I will tell you - there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq." -- Seymour Hersh