Monday, February 26, 2007

Photo: Iraqi army soldiers evacuate their wounded comrade from the building of the Iraqi ministry of public works. Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi escaped an apparent assassination attempt on Monday when a bomb hidden in the public works ministry exploded, killing at least five people.(AFP) (See below)
Iraq's vice president escaped an apparent assassination attempt Monday after a bomb exploded in municipal offices where he was making a speech, knocking him down with the force of the blast that left at least 10 people dead. Adel Abdul-Mahdi suffered bruises in the fall and was hospitalized for medical exams, an aide said. Police initially blamed the attack on a bomb-rigged car, but later said explosives were apparently planted inside the building. At least 10 people were killed and 18 injured in the blast, police said.
The attack killed at least 12 people and wounded 42 others, including Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, the officials said.
But one witness told Reuters the bomb explosion had thrown Abdul-Mahdi against a wall. "When the blast occurred, Abdul-Mahdi was thrown against the wall. All his guards threw themselves on top of him," he said. Public Works Minister Riad Ghareeb and his deputy had also been taken to hospital after being wounded, police sources said.
Bring 'em on: A Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West was killed Feb. 26 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province. (CENTCOM)
Three policemen were killed and two injured when an explosive device blew up in the Madaen area, southern Baghdad.
Iraqi security forces killed 12 insurgents, including two wearing explosive vests, and arrested 117 others, the government said in a statement.
Two people were killed and three injured when an explosive device detonated on the Nidal road
in central Baghdad.
A roadside bomb struck a police patrol, killing two officers and seriously wounding another in the Rustamiya area of southern Baghdad.
(update from 38 dead) The number of students killed in a suicide bombing on Sunday near Baghdad's al-Mustansiriyah university has risen to 45, the Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed Monday. The sources added that the figure was likely to rise, as many of the wounded were in serious condition.
On Sunday, a female suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives killed 42 people at a Baghdad college.
A mortar shell slammed into a street in central Baghdad, killing a woman and a man.
At 11:00 am, insurgents attacked today a center of civil defense unit in Al Mansour neighborhood in western Baghdad. the insurgents used machineguns and grenades in their attack. The attack claimed the lives of three policemen in the center wounding another three of them.
18 anonymous bodies were found today in Baghdad. 15 bodies were found in Karkh, the western part of Baghdad, in the following neighborhoods: 3 bodies in Hurriya, 2 bodies each in Baiyaa, Saidiya and Hay Al Amil. One body was found in each of Abo Disheer, Mansour, Kadhimiya, Dora, Al Shorta Al Rabi’aa and Salhiya. Three bodies were found in Rosafa, the eastern part of Baghdad, one body each in of Ubaidi neighborhood, Al Ameen, and near Al Sinak bridge.
(yesterday's update) Police found the bodies of 17 people shot dead in different parts of Baghdad over the past day, a police source said.
A Palestinian refugee was killed by a group of unknown gunmen. The man who is identified as Anwar Mohamed was found dead in a street in downtown Baghdad city near a vegetable market. The man's family reported that a group of masked unknown gunmen attacked the family house located Al Sieha neighborhood in the city; an area which is mainly inhabited by Palestinian refugees. The gunmen destroyed the house then kidnapped Anwar and another, disabled, man. The disabled man was released shortly after being kidnapped on Sunday, he suffered from bone fractures due to torture while Anwar died after being shot in the head on Monday morning.
Diyala Prv:
A military source in the 5th Iraqi army division revealed last night late that 20 insurgents were killed and 9 IEDs were defused during the first day of the military operation in Al Tahreer neighborhood south Baquba city. The operation is implemented by the 5th division supported by the MNF helicopters. The source talked about clashes inside the area because some insurgents used the houses as safe houses. Some guided missiles were launched towards some locations used by the snipers who tried to stop the military forces.
(yesterday's update) At least one policeman was killed and six others were wounded on Sunday when an explosive charge was detonated at their patrol in Diala province, 57 km northeast of Baghdad.
(yesterday's update) A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one person and wounded three, including two policemen, in Nahrawan, southeast of Baghdad.
Police said a man was killed and his daughter injured when gunmen attacked their vehicle on the highway near Latifiya, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Baghdad.
Three gunmen were injured in clashes with a British patrol in western Basra, 550 km south of the capital Baghdad, a military spokeswoman said on Monday. "A group of 15 gunmen clashed on Sunday night with a British patrol north of al-Hussein neighborhood in western Basra," Capt. Katie Brown, the spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) in southern Iraq, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). She said the clashes resulted in the injury of three of the gunmen according to Iraqi police estimates. Brown did not say whether there were British soldiers wounded in the clashes.
A British military vehicle was destroyed after it collided against a fuel tank south of Basra.
The British bases in the Shatt al-Arab hotel and al-Saie in central Basra came on Sunday night under fire but no damage or casualties took place.
(yesterday's update) A woman was killed on Sunday when a landmine went off west of Basra.
"Four civilians were wounded when British forces shelled last night a building in northern Basra", the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) over the phone.
The source added "three more civilians, including two children, were wounded in another incident when four mortar shells landed on a residential area in al-Najibiya district in northern Basra."
At least seven people were wounded when mortar rounds hit the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad.
(yesterday's update) The body of a man who had been shot dead was found in Sulaimaniya, a relatively peaceful city 330 km (205 miles) north of Baghdad, in Kurdistan.
(yesterday's update) Sulaimaniya police chief said on Sunday a beheaded dead body of an unknown person was found in Kurdistan Sulaimaniya which enjoyed stability and security.
(yesterday's update) A U.S. vehicle was destroyed on Sunday when an explosive charge went off at a U.S. vehicle patrol in Dalouiya town, north of Baghdad, a security source said.
A suicide car bomber killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded two others when he attacked a joint U.S-Iraqi military checkpoint near the small town of Abbasi, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police and army sources said.
Three gunmen, including one of Syrian nationality, were killed and three others captured in clashes with an Iraqi army patrol in the city of Mosul, 390 km north of Baghdad, a military source said.
A roadside bomb wounded two policemen in a patrol in Mosul.
(yesterday's update) Unknown gunmen shot and killed on Sunday a policeman in Mosul, a police source said.
(yesterday's update) Police in the northern city of Mosul said 24 bodies were found in different parts of the city over the past day.
Al Anbar Prv:
U.S. planes bombarded four houses in al-Ajilat neighborhood near Fallujah city, killing 15 residents and wounding more than 10 and destroying the houses, the source said. But the U.S. military did not confirm the incident yet.
Three members from the same family were beheaded on Sunday afternoon by unknown insurgents in their house in Ameriyat al- Fallujah village, 7 km south of the city, the source said on condition of anonymity. The three were the father and his two sons, the source said.
An anonymous police source said that unknown gunmen traveling in a car kidnapped a civilian from al-Hassi neighborhood in southwestern Fallujah on Sunday.
Seven gunmen were killed and three others were wounded on Monday in clashes with Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops near Kut city, 180 km southeast of Baghdad, a security source said. "An Iraqi and U.S. combined force launched on Monday attacks in several areas north of al-Suwaiyrah town, targeting gunmen hideouts, killing seven of them and wounding three more", the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). "The Clashes erupted between the two sides in al-Derayah and other places in north of al-Suwaiyrah", he added
A suicide bomber in a stolen ambulance killed 14 Iraqis overnight in an attack on a police post in an area controlled by Sunni tribes opposed to al-Qaeda. Omar al-Alwani, a doctor at Ramadi Hospital, said five police, three children, three civilian women and three local men were killed in the attack in the Albu Alwan area of the western city. The police post had been set up in a converted house at the heart of a residential area that has become a target for al-Qaeda insurgents since local tribal leaders formed a movement to oppose them. A local tribal leader and imam, Nafea Mohammed, was among the dead and seven more people were wounded, while the building collapsed completely, the medic said in Ramadi.
> The most prominent Sunni in Iraq's fragmented government said Monday that the United States is going to have to come up with a "Plan B" if the current crackdown fails to stem the violence in the capital.
Tariq al-Hashemi, the Sunni vice president, also warned that the Shiite-led government has no choice but to use force against sectarian militias, even though it may be too late to keep them from resuming killings and kidnappings when the Baghdad security crackdown ends.
> Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was being treated at a Jordanian hospital after falling unconscious Sunday. The Iraqi ambassador to Jordan said the 73-year-old leader was stable, and recuperating from exhaustion and pulmonary inflammation. "There's nothing dangerous about his case," Saad al-Hayyani told The Associated Press.
> Moqtada al-Sadr has not withdrawn his support from a U.S.-backed crackdown in Baghdad, his aides said on Monday.
Salih al-Ugeyli, a spokesman for Sadr's political movement, said Sunday's strongly worded statement from the Shi'ite cleric was meant to encourage Iraqi forces to act independently from the U.S. military in the capital.
In the statement read out to a large crowd in Sadr's Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City, the cleric said the Baghdad security plan would not work because U.S. forces were involved.
"The media misinterpreted the statement because we are still fully behind the plan. It was meant as advice for our security forces who are capable of achieving more without American help," Ugeyli said.
A senior politician from Sadr's political movement echoed Ugeyli's comments.
"We have not withdrawn our support for the security plan. All we did was ask Iraqis to take more of a lead and we repeated our demands for a withdrawal of the occupation," said Falah Hasan Shanshal.
> Iraq's cabinet on Monday endorsed a draft oil law crucial to regulating how wealth from the country's vast oil reserves will be shared by its ethnic and sectarian groups, a move hailed as a major political milestone.
Passing a law to help settle potentially explosive disputes over the world's third largest oil reserves has been a key demand of the United States, which has linked it to continuing support for the Shi'ite-led national unity government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told Reuters that Iraq's leaders had pledged to have the law enacted by the end of May. The draft has to be approved by parliament first.
> US troops in Iraq have found a huge cache of weapons and material to make deadly armour-piercing bombs of a type Iran has allegedly smuggled to Shiite militias, US officers said Monday.
Displaying a trove of bomb parts, shells and rockets, the commanders said it was impossible to tie the shipment directly to the Tehran government, but said many of the weapons were clearly Iranian-made.
Soldiers uncovered three arms caches with enough components to build 150 "explosively formed penetrators" on Saturday in Jadidah, a Shiite village 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Baghdad, US army Major Jeremy Siegrist said.
> Egypt has stopped the transmission by its TV satellite of Al-Zawraa, a private Iraqi channel whose propaganda on behalf of the Sunni insurgency had drawn fire from the U.S. and Iraqi governments, an Information Ministry official said Monday.
The chairman of the board of NileSat, Amin Basyouni, said the Al-Zawraa feed had been cut for technical reasons and not as an act of censorship.
"The transmission frequency of the channel interferes with the other channels broadcast by NileSat," Basyouni told The Associated Press. "We have no authority over what these channels show. We believe in freedom of expression."
But the owner of Al-Zawraa, Mishan al-Jabouri, saw the move as politically motivated and said he would sue Egypt.
"The Americans are very angry with the station because it shows the real image of resistance, not so-called terrorism, and increasing resistance against the occupation," Al-Jabouri said in a phone call from Damascus, Syria, where he lives in exile. "It seems as if the Egyptians are punishing us for that."
"I have no choice but to sue them," he said.
He said his channel is still being transmitted by another satellite, Arabsat.
The Sadrist Nahrain Net website quotes unnamed sources in the EU who expressed their concerns over evidence of a new U.S. strategy in Iraq to undermine Maliki’s government and to confront Shi’ite political parties, such as the Sadr movement and SCIRI. The website said that diplomatic memos from Baghdad and Amman to several European capitals contained evidence that the U.S. administration is planning to a) continue with the Imposing Law security operation until the Mahdi Army and the Sadrist movement is crippled and disarmed; b) confront SCIRI and detain prominent members of the Badr Brigade; c) replace Maliki’s government with a new coalition of the Kurdish bloc, the National Iraqiya bloc and the Iraqi Accord front to start implementing national reconciliation in order to put an end to the Sunni insurgency; and d) disband the elected parliament and set up an emergency military administration if there is no success in forming an opposition coalition.
The diplomatic EU sources added that this strategy, which is backed by Arab countries allied to the U.S., such as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, was put together since October 2006 but was postponed after President George Bush met with Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki in Jordan. According to the sources quoted by Nahrain Net, the recent detention of Ammar Al-Hakim, confirmed U.S. plans to escalate the confrontation with Shi’ite political parties, particularly SCIRI. (See below)
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Today the Sadrist news-site Nahrainnet.net reports that sources in a number of European capitals are seeing evidence confirming a US strategy that is quite different from the support-Maliki program that most people seem to believe in. The immediate news-hook for this is the recent arrest, with its humiliating circumstances, of the eldest son of Abdulaziz al-Hakim, head of SCIRI. The strategy the Europeans are said to anticipate is to use the Maliki administration for as long as possible to try for the elimination of the Mahdi Army as a force in the country, and then, depending on the results of that, to attack SCIRI and the Badr Corps. If none of that works, then there would be two alternatives as followup. First would be the creation of the "alternative political base" (talked about in the famous Hadley memo), to set up a "government of national salvation", and this would include the Iraqi List (Allawi's group), the Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni), and the two big Kurdish parties. And finally, if that doesn't work, the strategy calls for setting up a military government that would shut down parliament, close newspapers radio and TV, and so on. Here are the main parts of the Nahrain report:
I am not sure I understand the exact sequencing of events that they are talking about, but the gist of it is clear: Use Maliki to inflict maximum damage on his own base (so this wouldn't look like a Sunni pogrom against Shiites), then replace Maliki with a military government or the next thing to it, to finish the job of establishing a US-compliant regime acceptable to the Sunni regimes of the region. No one is saying it is feasible or anything like that: What the Europeans diplomats are saying, according to Nahrain, is that this is what is in the mind of Bush.
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Pete Nichols, MSU State News: IRAQ UNDER ANARCHY
So Tony Blair, British prime minister and erstwhile Bush administration hand puppet, has decided to put the finishing touches on a plan to pull his troops out of Iraq.
For anyone following Britain's curious involvement in the war — 40,000 troops for the invasion, scaled back to 9,000 two years later and 7,100 a scant year after that — the move hardly comes as a surprise. Blair took a beating in the U.K. polls about the whole misadventure for years, and it's suspected this troop pullout is an early sign of his intentions to leave his post by the end of the year. But what does the troop pullout mean to the United States? (…)
It could be that by painting a rosy picture of Britain's departure, Bush is trying find a way to extract our troops, as well. By claiming the Brits can leave because their job is done, he has opened the door to say (down the road, most likely near the end of his term) he was pulling our forces out because we did our "job" — whatever that was — to the best of our ability, and we're done. It's Iraq's problem now.
Which, of course, poses a unique problem of its own. The charming puppet government we've installed in Iraq has been an abject, bungling failure from the get-go and, in the intervening years of bloodshed and chaos, it has only become weaker and more ineffectual than it was before. Forget insurgency, forget civil war — Iraq is now, for all intents and purposes, in anarchy. There is no central government, there is no order — only chaos and death. How can we extract our forces if we know the region will completely implode the moment we do?
Because it already has. We passed the point of no return long ago. There is no salvaging the Iraq situation. There is no way to undo the harm our incredibly destructive and misguided foreign policy has done. The only prudent thing to do is follow Britain's example, pull our troops out and stop what needless death we can. It's over. We've lost. Britain has opened the door to justify our swift departure, and if Bush has any sense or compassion, we'll follow them.
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Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues: LAST TANGO IN BAGHDAD?
- P.Cockburn in a very rare moment of fractional truthful lucidity (let us keep our fingers crossed and hope that it lasts - even though I personally doubt it) "reported" in his latest article on the partial British withdrawal from Southern Iraq and I quote:
"...But long before then almost all the remaining British forces will be located at Basra air base and act in support of Iraqi military and police units..." the articles continues "...As a result, southern Iraq has, in effect, long been under the control of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and the so-called "Sadrist" factions...The Iraqi forces that Britain helped create in the area were little more than an extension of Shia Islamist control by other means."
Now how do you read this? I read it as follows:
1) the so called Iraqi military and police are part of the current government presided by Al Maliki. Members of his government are : Al Hakim, father of the Badr Brigades from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Council who helped the safe passage of Chalabi into Baghdad after its fall in 2003.
2) Chalabi the three in one agent who has made a noticeable comeback ( read the full article by R. Dreyfuss here) as I have mentioned it my previous post "Diss Information.
3) and last but not least, Muqtada al Sadr with his Jaysh Al-Mahdi also known as the Sadrists.
Finally P.Cockburn admits (even though he goes on to distort a few facts later on in the article but I will not dwell on them here) that Southern Iraq has fallen under the total control of both the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Council Iraqi Branch headed by al Hakim and the Sadrists. If you remember in one of my previous posts, "Persian for Dummies", I confirmed that Southern Iraq has become an official Iranian enclave ...
I even mentioned in a subsequent piece, that the pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini, the lunatic, is plastered all over the city to the dismay of Iraqi Arab shias themselves.
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Needlenose: WE ARE AT WAR WITH…
New Yorker:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
One contradictory aspect of the new strategy is that, in Iraq, most of the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from Sunni forces, and not from Shiites. But, from the Administration’s perspective, the most profound—and unintended—strategic consequence of the Iraq war is the empowerment of Iran.
On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns -- after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces -- at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.
Gosh darn it, our surge sounds as about as effective as Mick Jagger at Altamont: "People, who's fighting and what for?" If only the no-goodniks would raise their hands and make things easier on us:
U.S. troops, Iraqi soldiers and officials, and Baghdad residents say the plan is hampered because security forces cannot identify, let alone apprehend, the elusive perpetrators of the violence. Shiite militiamen in the capital say they are keeping a low profile to wait out the security plan. U.S. commanders have noted increased insurgent violence in the Sunni-dominated belt around Baghdad and are concerned that fighters are shifting their focus outside the city. [....]
Military patrols frequently push into neighborhoods where they have been shot at or struck with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, only to find no one to arrest.
"I don't know who I'm fighting most of the time," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Lopez, 39, a soldier based in the northern outskirts of the capital. "I don't know who is setting what IED." [....] Iraqi army soldiers and policemen stand sentry at checkpoint after checkpoint, but more often than not allow cars to pass through without inspection. "They're just standing and waving at the cars," said Sgt. Haider Hasim, 20, a member of the Iraqi National Guard's 1st Brigade, 2nd Regiment of the 6th Division, who patrols the western Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriyah. "They won't take weapons from their friends." [....] "They're doing nothing, they're just sleeping at the camps," he said. "We do not go out if the Americans are not with us."
"Mad bull lost its way," indeed.
Robert Fisk, The Independent: 27 JULY 1880. A DATE MR BLAIR SHOULD LOOK UP
Out of the frying pan, into the historical fire. If only our leaders read history. In 1915, the British swept up from Basra, believing that the Iraqis would reward them with flowers and love, only to find themselves surrounded at Kut al-Amara, cut down by Turkish shellfire and cholera. Now we are reinforcing Nato in that tomb of the British Army, Afghanistan.
Hands up any soldiers who know that another of Britain's great military defeats took place in the very sands in which your colleagues are now fighting the Taliban. Yes, the Battle of Maiwand - on 27 July, 1880 - destroyed an entire British brigade, overrun by thousands of armed Afghan tribesmen, some of whom the official enquiry into the disaster would later describe as "Talibs". The Brits had been trying to secure Helmand province. Sound familiar?
Several times already in Helmand, the British have almost been overwhelmed. This has not been officially admitted, but the Ministry of Defence did make a devious allusion to this last year - it was missed by all the defence correspondents - when it announced that British troops in Helmand had been involved in the heaviest combat fighting "since the Korean War". The Afghans talk of one British unit which last year had to call in air strikes, destroying almost the entire village in which they were holding out. Otherwise, they would have been overrun.
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According to the doctrine of pre-emptive strike which the US has adopted since 9/11, it too can be subjected to a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as it poses a threat to other peaceful nations of the world. The US has a sordid track record for using such weapons against civilians and it has constantly maintained a large stockpile of such weapons of mass destruction, and continuously develops them. There are additional reasons to nuke the US, however I have decided to highlight only seven, which I have listed below.
This is partly for brevity and I hope it might have some resonance with the Zionist-Christian Fundamentalists, especially the nutty ones, as number 7 has significance in the Bible. Also, they are constantly yearning for the Armageddon, and nuking USA may only speed up the process, so for a change I might have these Christian-Zionists on my side! The Halleluiah brigade would probably jump up, waving their arms in the air whilst claiming to be speaking in tongues, proclaim that the good Lord says: bring it on, nuke the US for their sins! Perhaps, I would also have the communists and their variants to concur with me, as nuking the leading capitalist nation by non-state actors would seem like initiating a 21st century explosive revolution by the powerless proletariats against the capitalist class!
Before anyone screams mass murder, they ought to consider that their judgments will rest on the identity of the victims and the perpetrators. If it is the ‘terrorists’ (non state-actors, freedom fighters, Iraqi resistance etc) nuking the US, it will be depicted as terrorism and mass murder; conversely if the US uses such weapons, it will be defensive measures in the guise of a pre-emptive strike to eliminate potential threats incurring lots of collateral damages. Like the collateral damages inflicted on a massive scale when the Atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, neither were military targets and by this time Japan was already on its knees with no Air Force and its Navy almost annihilated. Perhaps one day some objective historian might call that an act of terrorism! Let me now list the 7 reasons to Nuke the USA.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Lt. Col. Christopher C. Garver, a U.S. military spokesman, said that although part of the [security stations that are supposed to be built in Baghdad]’ function is to encourage Iraqis to visit, their locations would not be disclosed because of concern within the Iraqi government that such information would facilitate attacks.” -- from a WaPo story on "Operation Imposing Law", via Needlenose


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