Wednesday, November 22, 2006
WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2006
“In a post-Sept. 11 world, I thought the prudent use of violence could be therapeutic.”
- Richard Cohen, justifying his support of the
Today’s therapeutic activities:
Two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession, wounding two policemen when they went to retrieve the bodies of three people in
Update to item in yesterday’s post: Backed by U.S.-led coalition advisers, Iraqi security forces battled insurgents early Tuesday in
Gunmen shot dead a bodyguard of the parliament speaker and wounded another, a day after a small bomb exploded in one of the speaker's cars. The bodyguards were attacked by a group of gunmen in several cars. The attack occurred a day after an apparent attempt to kill al-Mashhadani in a car bomb attack inside the heavily fortified Green Zone. (See below for more on the car bomb incident. –m)
At least 13 Iraqis were killed and six wounded Wednesday in attacks by suspected insurgents using drive-by shootings and bombings in
Raad Jaafar Hamadi, an Iraqi journalist working for the state-run al-Sabah newspaper in
Gunmen attacked a police patrol and killed three policemen in Baquba.
Four policemen were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Baquba early on Wednesday morning.
Gunmen killed a policeman in Falluja.
A roadside bomb planted near members of the Facility Protection Services (FPS) killed seven and wounded another on Tuesday afternoon in Iskandariya.
Police found the body of police major Basim Hasan al-Hasnawi with bullet wounds in the head in central Kerbala, police said, adding that he was abducted by gunmen two days earlier.
A tribal leader, Ahmed al-Allawi, was seriously wounded when gunmen opened fire on his car in central Kerbala.
Clashes erupted between gunmen and the police on Tuesday, wounding six people, including three women, in
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded three policemen in
A car bomb near an Iraqi army check point and an attack by gunmen killed four people -- a university professor, a traffic police officer and two soldiers -- and wounded three civilians, in a village near the town of
Police found the bodies of three people near Ramadi.
A bomb intended to kill the contentious speaker of the Iraqi Parliament exploded inside one of his armored cars today while the car was rolling through the fortified Green Zone, injuring the driver and trapping members of Parliament inside the legislative building as the American military shut down the area for hours, a parliamentary aide said.
Though the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, was unscathed by the explosion, the assassination attempt was one of the most serious breaches of security in the four-square-mile Green Zone in recent memory. The Green Zone houses the seat of the Iraqi government and the American embassy, and lies on the west bank of the
The explosion took place in mid-afternoon, as the car was leaving a parking area, said the parliamentary aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he had not been authorized to talk publicly about the incident. The bomb had been planted inside a decoy armored car that resembles the one usually used by Mr. Mashhadani, he said. The decoy car belongs to Mr. Mashhadani’s regular convoy.
Only part of the bomb exploded, and so the driver lived, the aide said.
This is the second time in two days there has been an incident involving explosives inside the Green Zone. One of these days, and it won’t be long, there is going to be a very successful attack in there. That should be therapeutic for all concerned. -m
Group therapy: A U.N. report said 3,709 civilians were killed in October, a record high, and 3,345 were killed in September.
The report said 418,392 people were displaced within
Physical therapy: "Bodies found at the Medico-legal Institute often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin, broken bones, missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails"
Life In A Therapeutic Setting
Higher education: Academics, along with other professionals, have been increasingly targeted by sectarian violence which continues unchecked across much of
Primary school: "Every day I come back home and tell of the latest kidnapping of a teacher or student, the killing of a colleague or the new insults that the students have learned and told me," Ala'a said.
"Last week, a seven-year-old student told me that I was nothing else than a servant of
The workaday world: Taxi driver Ali Haydar, 36, has to be careful about choosing his customers. Two of his fellow drivers were killed recently when suicide bombers used their cabs to get close to their intended targets and detonate themselves. "Once a guy got into my car and asked me to just drive him around the city. I found it strange but I needed to work so I couldn't say no. But then I started to feel that this man was dangerous and was trying to find a place to carry out an attack. I asked him what was wrong and he simply told me that he was looking for a place to explode. I stopped at a traffic light and ran from my car, leaving him inside," Haydar said. "Can you believe it? He was bold enough to tell me that in my face. When I came back to my car, he had left and the police were there. They then accused me of being a terrorist and beat me until some people who knew me intervened and explained to them that I am a taxi driver," he added.
Travel opportunities: After one of his sons was kidnapped and killed, Sachid left the home he owned and sold his car to buy corrugated iron and bricks to build the three-room hut that now houses himself, two sons, their wives and children. With night-time temperatures already chilly, he says there is no prospect of their returning.
"If you paved the road from here to Haswa with gold, I would never go back," he said. "I can't sleep at night because I'm always worried. I don't feel safe travelling through Shi'ite areas so how can I even think of passing Sunni areas again."
Sachid is one of at least 420,000 people to move to other parts of
Sattar Nowruz of
Another 100,000 a month leave the country, the U.N. said -- proportionately equivalent to a million Americans emigrating every month -- draining
More fractures: The arrest warrant issued last week by the Iraqi government for Sunni leader Dr. Harith al-Dhari has sent shockwaves through the government, and galvanised much of the Sunni population.
The step came on the second day of a two-day visit by
As the United States undertakes a broad review of its role in Iraq, the neighboring countries of Iran, Turkey and Syria have stepped forward to try to position themselves in case of a major change in policy, leading to a recent flurry of diplomatic efforts. The countries are also concerned about the possibility of a political collapse if the Iraqi government sinks into paralysis with its two main sects stuck in a deadlock.
Poodle approval: Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem's visit to
Moualem made the first visit to
"I welcome the fact that the Syrian foreign minister went to
"The very thing that we have been seeking is to ensure that
US Military Begins To Face Reality…?
Power Point expertise: The U.S. military's effort to train Iraqi forces has been rife with problems, from officers being sent in with poor preparation to a lack of basic necessities such as interpreters and office materials, according to internal Army documents.
The shortcomings have plagued a program that is central to the
In dozens of official interviews compiled by the Army for its oral history archives, officers who had been involved in training and advising Iraqis bluntly criticized almost every aspect of the effort. Some officers thought that team members were often selected poorly. Others fretted that the soldiers who prepared them had never served in
The Iraqi officers interviewed by an Army team also had complaints; the top one was that they were being advised by officers far junior to them who had never seen combat.
Some of the American officers even faulted their own lack of understanding of the task. "If I had to do it again, I know I'd do it completely different," reported Maj. Mike Sullivan, who advised an Iraqi army battalion in 2004. "I went there with the wrong attitude and I thought I understood
Moving past Rumsfeld: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may be leaving under a cloud of criticism over his handling of the
The draft version of the Army's Full Spectrum Operations field manual argues that in addition to defeating the enemy, military units must focus on providing security for the population--even during the heat of a major combat operation. "The big idea here is that stability tasks have to be a consideration at every level and every operation," said Clinton Ancker III, head of the Army's Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate and an author of the guide.
Manpower crunch: The U.S. Marine Corps may need to increase in size in order to sustain continued deployments to
At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Gen. James Conway said the current pace of rotations to
The goal, he said, is to spend twice the amount of time at home that was spent on deployment — for example seven months deployed and 14 months at home.
Conway, who took on the Marines' top job just eight days ago, said there are two ways to deal with the ongoing stress on the Marines, and that "one is reducing the requirement, the other is potentially growing the force for what we call the long war."
Three years in and it had to come from the guys on the ground: Marine commanders are outfitting their troops with flame-resistant flight suits in
It’s another sign of how troops in the field have adapted to the deadly insurgency. Earlier in the war, troops added their own armor to vehicles and devised their own makeshift electronic jamming devices to foil the growing power and sophistication of the bombs they encountered.
Marine commanders in Iraq took the initiative to issue flame- and heat-resistant clothing made from a DuPont-manufactured fiber called Nomex, said Lt. Col. Bryan Salas, a spokesman for Multi-National Force-West.
More Poodle News
We flush dollars, they flush pounds: Late last week Mr Blair and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, trumpeted special funding to
The funding announcements came just days after Mr Blair admitted in an interview with the satellite channel Al Jazeera English that the invasion of
On Sunday opposition and Labour MPs attacked the Blair Government's strategy.
Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said Mr Blair had poured away billions of pounds. "Money that might have been spent on assisting the poorest countries has been squandered in illegal military action against
War Profiteer News
Or, rather, torture profiteers: Consider the unique problems faced by the corporate suits at CACI International, a defense contractor whose services have included "coercive" interrogations of prisoners in
Think about the image problems a major multinational corporation faces after becoming inextricably linked with the abuses at Abu Ghraib, a firm whose employees have contributed to the iconic images of the occupation of
CACI's strategy has been two-fold: its flacks have distorted well-documented facts in the public record beyond recognition, and its senior management has lawyered up, suing or threatening to sue just about every journalist, muckraker and government watchdog who's dared to shine a light on the firm's unique role as a torture profiteer.
The Struggle For
State secrets: When USA Today published an article on May 11 alleging that the National Security Agency (NSA) had teamed up with major telecommunications companies to obtain access to Americans’ communication records, Cowie sent an e-mail to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, asking if the company was taking part in this program. After ambiguous responses from Verizon, Cowie filed a complaint with the Maine PUC. According to Cowie, the “PUC is supposed to determine whether the complaint has merit and if it does, it’s supposed to open an investigation and have a hearing.” (He would know—part of his former position there was managing these very complaints.) After two months of silence, the PUC finally acted, asking Verizon to swear under oath to the veracity of a May press release the company issued in response to the USA Today allegations.
That release claimed that Verizon was not providing records to the government, but was ambiguous enough to leave room for doubt. A deadline was set for Verizon to respond and about an hour after the deadline passed, a response was received—a Justice Department announcement that it was suing the state of Maine.
The department invoked the state secrets privilege and claimed that for Verizon to even affirm that their previous statement was true would endanger the country. That’s ridiculous, says Cowie. “[If] Verizon’s public statements had classified information in them, they would have gone to jail.”
Minutes after receiving notice of the Justice Department suit, Verizon submitted their filing, which stated that it could not verify its previous press statement because of the lawsuit that had just been announced.
Dangerous precedent: Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system.
It was the first time that
…The Justice Department said in court papers last week that a new anti-terrorism law strips detainees such as al-Marri of the right to challenge their imprisonment in court.
"The government is essentially asserting the right to hold putative enemy combatants arrested in the United States indefinitely whenever it decides not to prosecute those people criminally - perhaps because it would be too difficult to obtain a conviction, perhaps because a motion to suppress evidence would raise embarrassing facts about the government's conduct, or perhaps for other reasons," the former Justice Department officials said.
…"The existing criminal justice system is more than up to the task of prosecuting and bringing to justice those who plan or attempt terrorist acts within the United States - without sacrificing any of the rights and protections that have been the hallmarks of the American legal system for more than 200 years," the attorneys wrote.
One tip in the database in February 2005, for instance, noted that “a church service for peace” would be held in the
A Legal Question
What was it that made it aggravated assault? The kidnapping part? Or the murder?: A Marine lance corporal willingly participated in the kidnapping and shooting death of an Iraqi civilian and should spend 10 years behind bars, a military prosecutor charged Tuesday.
The prosecutor, Capt. Nicholas Gannon, said that Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr., could have stopped the April 26 slaying of Hashim Ibrahim Awad but failed to act.
"Instead, he agreed to do the wrong thing and snuff out a human life," Gannon said.
Rather than the 10-year sentence that Gannon sought, an agreement in which Shumate pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice resulted in a 21-month term with credit for six months already served.
Why do so many people think this clown is presidential?: Amid intense speculation about whether he will run for president, Sen. Barack Obama on Monday used the spotlight to showcase his strategy for the war in Iraq, excoriating the Bush administration for its "misguided" war and describing a solution that includes dialogue with hostile nations in the region.
In his speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Illinois Democrat said the
Poor Misunderstood George
Cry me a river: The oil-rich Persian Gulf used to be safe territory for former president Bush, an oil man who brought Arab leaders together in a coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's troops out of
But gratitude for the elder Bush, who served as president from 1989-93, was overshadowed by the foreign policy of his son, whose invasion of
"We do not respect your son. We do not respect what he's doing all over the world," a woman audience member bluntly told Bush after his keynote speech.
Bush appeared stunned as the audience of young business leaders whooped and whistled in approval.
The retired president had just finished a folksy address on leadership by telling the audience how deeply hurt he feels when his son the president is criticized.
"This son is not going to back away," Bush said, his voice quivering. "He's not going to change his view because some poll says this or some poll says that, or some heartfelt comments from the lady who feels deeply in her heart about something. You can't be president of the
Commentary And Opinion
Greg Mitchell: Cohen, who had so demeaned those "French" lovers who, as it turns out, correctly opposed the
Glenn Greenwald: The invasion of
…The invasion of
TVNewsLies.org: The neocon plan was very simple and so beautifully underhanded that it has evaded many people in this nation and the world. The architects of the invasion knew that the greater the instability, the worse the insurrection, and the greater the possibility of out and out civil war, the more the
Understand that all is going according to the PNAC plan: The US cannot leave
That fantastic American Embassy, larger than
Ken Silverstein: “Embittered Insiders Turn Against Bush,” was the headline of a front-page Washington Post story yesterday that detailed how former
Adelman's hypocrisy is stunning. In 2002 it was he who famously predicted that American forces would enjoy “a cakewalk” in
The following month, he was gloating to the New York Times that his “cakewalk” prediction had been remarkably prescient. Adelman, according to the story, “scorned recent complaints by retired generals and military analysts that the Pentagon had deployed too few troops” to
But what's most astonishing about Adelman's current criticism of the Bush Administration is that he argued for a “stay the course” approach long after it became clear that the war was a burgeoning disaster.
Allan Uthman: Bush needs to be impeached because Bush worshippers just plain deserve it. It was they that were giddy with self-righteous rage, so desperate to take
Bush needs to be impeached because the only language these people understand is power. Their hearts will not be touched by forgiveness. Any mercy is a sign of weakness to them. If you want to earn a thug’s respect, you’ve got to kick his ass up and down the block. No negotiation. No compromise. Slash and burn. Teach these assholes a lesson. Leave them broken and gasping in a puddle of their own urine. Don’t ever let them forget the humiliation and the shame of it.
But beyond revenge and humiliation—the reasons that Republicans will actually understand—Bush needs to be impeached because he is a criminal of the highest order, and because tolerating criminals at the seat of power is itself a crime against the nation. The core problem in
Bush needs to be impeached for the same reason any conservative will tell you that drug offenders need to go to jail forever. In other words, if a president abuses his power, misleads the nation, flouts the constitution, breaks longstanding international laws and ignores congress—and then, when the opposition takes power, nothing happens—what kind of message does that send to the next power-mad president? Bush—and Cheney—need to be impeached because that’s how this thing works.
Bush needs to be impeached, but it’s not going to happen. Not a chance. Because as wrong as the Republicans are, they’re right about one thing: the Democrats just don’t have the courage to do what’s right.
The U.S. Army promoted 1st Lt. Ryan Dennison to the rank of captain after he was killed in
A funeral is being held Wednesday for a
Lance Cpl. Michael David Scholl grew up in this northwest end of
A 21-year-old Army sergeant from