DAILY WAR NEWS FOR TUESDAY, February 27, 2007
A resident leads a woman away from the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, February 27, 2007. At least two people were killed while four others were wounded in an attack which targeted a car park in Baghdad's commercial district of Karrada, police said. REUTERS/Ali Jasim (IRAQ)
A car bomb exploded near a park popular with young soccer players, killing at least 18 boys
in a city west of Baghdad known as a center of the Sunni insurgency, police said. The attack occurred just three days after more than 50 people were killed outside a mosque in a nearby village where the imam had spoken out against the group al-Qaida in Iraq — pointing to an increasingly bloody attempts to silence its opponents. But the deaths of the boys, aged 10 to 15, left authorities grasping for a possible motive.
> The U.S. military said it was unaware of a bomb attack in the city of Ramadi on Tuesday in which Iraqi officials and a tribal leader said 18 people, mostly children, had been killed. (…)
A U.S. military spokesman, Major Jeff Pool, said a controlled blast by U.S. soldiers near a soccer field in Ramadi slightly wounded 30 people, including nine children. He said the wounded had cuts and bruises.
"I can't imagine there would be another attack involving children without our people knowing," said Pool.
[either this was really an accidental massacre by the US army or perhaps they're trying to cover up something worse, like in a well known Iraq invasion video where you see a US helicopter pilot ask for permission, and get it, to "take out" what look like a group of frightened civilians crossing a street; but who knows, perhaps it was really al Qaeda indulging in its primary urge to kill innocent civilians for breakfast -- zig]
Bring 'em on
: On Feb. 27, an MND-B unit struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a route clearance mission southwest of the Iraqi capital, killing three Soldiers and wounding another. (MNF - Iraq)
OTHER SECURITY INCIDENTS
U.S. and Iraqi forces staged raids in Baghdad's main Shiite militant stronghold
Tuesday as part of politically sensitive forays into areas loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Troops have held back on broad sweeps through the teeming Sadr City slums since a major security operation began earlier this month, targeting militant factions and sectarian death squads that have ruled Baghdad's streets . At least 16 people were arrested after U.S.-Iraqi commandos - using concussion grenades - stormed six homes, police said. The U.S. military had no immediate details of the operation.
At the popular Kabab Abu Ali restaurant, a bomb left in a plastic bag exploded during the busy lunch hours, killing at least three people and injuring 13.
About the same time, a suicide bomber struck an area filled with restaurants and ice cream parlors. At least four people were killed and 11 injured, police said.
Earlier, a bomb-rigged car exploded in a parking lot, killing at least two people, police said.
A roadside bomb wounded three policemen in Zayouna in eastern Baghdad,
a police source said.
A roadside bomb in Tayaran Square in central Baghdad killed two people and wounded 11
, police said.
A car bomb in Karrada killed five people and wounded 10
when it exploded shortly after an official convoy passed by, a police source said.
A total of 25 bodies were found shot dead and most showings signs of torture
on Monday in different districts of Baghdad, police said.
Five people, three of them brothers, were killed by a roadside bomb
in the town of Al-Wahda, south-east of Baghdad. Police official Mohsen Mohammed said the five were in a car heading to the Iraqi capital from Al-Wahda, about 40 kilometres away, when their vehicle was hit by the bomb.
Iraqi forces engaged in intense fighting with suspected Sunni insurgents along a key highway
in the Wassit province, southeast of Baghdad, police said.
Twenty-five gunmen were killed and 10 others were arrested in clashes with Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops
near Kut city, 180 km southeast of Baghdad, a police source said on Tuesday. "Iraqi forces backed by U.S. soldiers waged on Tuesday morning, for the second day running, attacks in several areas in Suwaira, north of Kut, killing 25 gunmen and arresting 10 others," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity. The source said " the gunmen are believed to have limks to al-Qaeda in Iraq armed group." Suwaira is 150 km north of Kut.
British forces wounded a gunman in clashes in central Basra
and arrested three suspects in east of the predominantly Shiite province, 550 km south of Baghdad, a military spokeswoman said on Tuesday. "British forces opened fire last night at a gunman who was attacking the joint operations center in the area of al-Saie in central Basra," Capt. Katie Brown, the spokeswoman for British forces in southern Iraq, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by telephone. Meanwhile, British forces during the early hours of Tuesday arrested three suspects in a raid that targeted a house in the area of al-Tanouma, east of the city, she said, giving no further details.
Three Iraqi health ministry employees were killed and three Baghdad-Kirkuk trucks of pharmaceuticals were seized by gunmen
in an attack near the town of al-Aazim, an Iraqi police source said on Tuesday. A group of armed men attacked an Iraqi health ministry convoy in al-Aazim, killing the drivers of the three trucks and seizing a large amount of pharmaceuticals that were bound for Kirkuk," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
A suicide truck bomber targeting an Iraqi police station in northern Iraq killed six policemen
and wounded 25 people on Tuesday, police said, adding the death toll could rise. Witnesses said the blast in the city of Mosul destroyed the police headquarters. Insurgents fighting the U.S.-backed Shi'ite-led government frequently attack Iraqi security forces.
A suicide truck bomber targeting an Iraqi police station in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul killed seven policemen and wounded 47 people, including 32 civilians, police said.
A suicide bomber struck a factory, killing at least four people
near the northern city of Mosul.
Gunmen killed a university student
in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt killed four people and wounded six others in the reception of a company
specialising in manufacturing cement barriers for the Iraqi security forces in the town of al-Baaj, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Mosul, police said.
An Iraqi army soldier and a child were killed when an explosive device went off in southwest of Kirkuk
, 250 km northeast of Baghdad, a police source said on Tuesday. "An explosive charge exploded near the Kirkuk police command on the Kirkuk-Riadh highway to the west of the city," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity.
In the southern Qadisiya province, Iraqi security forces said they captured 157 suspects linked to a shadowy armed cell called the Soldiers of Heaven,
or Jund al-Samaa.
Officials from regional states including Iran and Syria will join U.S. and British envoys at a meeting in Baghdad next month to seek ways to stabilize Iraq
, the Iraqi foreign minister said on Tuesday.
The mid-March meeting would be a chance for Western and regional powers to try to bridge some of their differences over Iraq, Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said.
"Our hope is that this will be an ice-breaking attempt for maybe holding other meetings in the future. We want Iraq, instead of being a divisive issue, to be a unifying issue," Zebari said by telephone from Denmark where he is on a visit.
In December, the bipartisan U.S. Iraq Study Group issued a report on the Iraq war in which it recommended the United States hold direct talks with Damascus and Tehran to persuade them to help stem the violence in Iraq.
President Bush reacted coolly to that proposal. Bush has not ruled out a regional conference to help Iraq, involving Iran and Syria, but the White House has indicated Iraq would have to set it up.
Maj. Gen. William Coldwell, spokesman of the multinational forces in Iraq, has affirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat
that multinational forces are holding talks with commanders of Muqtada al-Sadr's Al-Mahdi Army
with the "Iraqi Government's blessing."
Coldwell also stated that talks are not limited to the commanders of the Al-Mahdi Army, but also include several Iraqi armed groups, in implementation of the political part of the new Baghdad security plan.
> A number of families have fled Samarra, saying that if the government does not intervene, their city will end up like Kabul during the Taliban era
The fleeing families say that extremists have renamed the city "the Islamic Emirate of Samarra, which is one of the emirates of the Islamic State of Iraq, declared by Al-Qaeda in the Land of Two Rivers last year.
Abdul-Karim Sadi, 46, said: "We and our families have gradually fled our city leaving behind our possessions except for some money that will sustain us for a few months. The situation in Samarra and its suburbs has become intolerable because extremist groups have begun interfering in people's private lives to the point of interfering in private relationships between husbands and wives."
He pointed out that these groups "began arriving in Samarra specifically a year and a half ago. Most of their leaders hold Arab citizenships, including Syrians, Algerians, Egyptians, and Yemenis, along with some Iraqi tribesmen who assist them and offer them facilities. These groups have been given houses and farms to turn them into training camps. They will train the sons of the city who refuse to join them so that they will force them to join them in the future by threatening to kill their families if they refuse."
Roads to Iraq: EXCLUSIVE: MUQTADA AL-SADR REVEALED THAT HE GETS HIS SUPPORT FROM THE SUNNIS
This video shows very important, disturbing information, Muqtada Al-Sadr says that he was disappointed by the Shiites who tried to hit him in the back, and he gets his support by the Sunnis.
We know many groups who hit us in the back.
The Americans from the front and the enemy…..the Shiites from behind, and the support comes from from the Sunnis..should I say it like this [frankly],
Sunnis give us backup and Shiites hit us from behind.
This is a political and propaganda war against “Mahdi Army”
The next war will be a cultural war, against Islam
Alive in Baghdad: BAGHDAD HOSPITAL CHILDREN’S WARD - 07.23.2006
In war and peace children are always amongst the most vulnerable of communities.
Iraq has been no exception.
In this episode, Alive in Baghdad takes you to the children’s ward of Baghdad Hospital, to make visible the plight of some very sick children, stricken with cancer by the presence of Depleted Uranium munitions, left over from the last to US wars in Iraq.
Despite official claims that so-called "Depleted" Uranium is mostly harmless, evidence continues to mount to the contrary. Rates of cancer and deformities in Iraq’s children have sky-rocketed since 1991.
Here are just a few of their stories.
Iraqi Screen: IRAQI KIDS AFTER THE INVASION
I was talking with an Iraqi psychiatrist about cases of kids traumatized by the war and terror wave that is ravaging Iraq, the doctor told me that the number of the Iraqi kids who suffered of different types of psycho problems since the US invasion till now is increasing rapidly.
He said, " If I receied five patients in my clinic every day, be sure one of them is a kid, which means I receive no less than 60 kids per a month."
The doctor was talking about Iraqi girl whose only 9 yr old but she is in panic all the time and all of a sudden she might start screaming without any reason if she is at home or at school.
The reason of her case is that while she was heading home from her school she has seen some gunmen kidnapping a kid after beating him severely and she was stuck between but survived by a miracle.
The only way now to clam this kid is to give her valium tabelt and make her sleep, otherwise sh won't stop screaming and shouting, " They are coming, they are coming, they will kill me."
read in full…
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Philip Barron, AlterNet.org: THE NEXT PAT TILLMAN-STYLE COVER-UP?
The Army has much to answer for in its investigation of Private LaVena Johnson's death.
There once was a young woman from a St. Louis suburb. She was an honor roll student, she played the violin, she donated blood and volunteered for American Heart Association walks. She elected to put off college for a while and joined the Army once out of school. At Fort Campbell, KY, she was assigned as a weapons supply manager to the 129th Corps Support Battalion.
She was LaVena Johnson, private first class, and she died near Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was the first woman soldier from Missouri to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The tragedy of her story begins there.
An Army representative initially told LaVena's father, Dr. John Johnson, that his daughter "died of self-inflicted, noncombat injuries" and initially added it was not a suicide - in other words, an accidental death caused by LaVena herself. The subsequent Army investigation reversed this finding and declared LaVena's death a suicide, a finding refuted by the soldier's family. In an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, Dr. Johnson pointed to indications that his daughter had endured a physical struggle before she died - two loose front teeth, a "busted lip" that had to be reconstructed by the funeral home - suggesting that "someone might have punched her in the mouth."
A promise by the office of Representative William Lacy Clay to look into the matter produced nothing. The military said that the matter was closed.
Little more on LaVena's death was said until St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV aired a story on Thursday which disclosed troubling details not previously made public - details which belie the Army's assertion that the young Florissant native died by her own hand.
read in full…
Arab bARABie: JUSTIFICATION? OF ABEER
US soldier jailed for Iraq murder
Note: bARABie's comments in red [in italics -- zig]
A US soldier has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for the gang rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her and her family.
100 HUNDRED YEARS screams the first line of this article but only after further reading does the reader find out the real length of the sentence. 10, yes TEN years for the vicious gang rape and murder of Abeer, a girl who was only 14 years old and her family. With good behaviour might that TEN become FIVE years?
Sgt Paul Cortez admitted four murders, rape and conspiracy to rape. His plea meant he avoided the death penalty.
Does this send the following message to American troops, "you may commit a crime and IF your crimes are exposed, plead guilty and receive a slap on the wrist"?
He received a dishonourable discharge and will be eligible to seek parole in 10 years.
Receiving a dishonorable discharge means what exactly and to whom? Is that how you punish such heinous crimes with a discharge AND TEN years. Ten years is a slap in the face for Abeer and her family, it wasn't enough that they raped and murdered Abeer, now they insult her with a shameful sentence.
In November, Specialist James Barker, 24, admitted rape and murder over the killings and was jailed for 90 years.
This "IT" receives 90 years, does that translate to NINE (9) years before the animal is allowed to roam the streets?
In court on Thursday, Cortez broke down as he confessed to raping the girl as her parents and sister were shot dead in another room.
Now the BBC writer is trying to humanize this murdering pedophile rapist, look he cried.
The case is one of several in which US troops are accused of killing Iraqis.
The reader is being led to believe that there are checks and balances which uncover and prosecute these heinous crimes but in actual fact the truth did not come from the perpetrators but from a soldier they bragged to.
According to the plea agreement, Cortez admitted conspiring with three other soldiers, Private First Class Jesse Spielman, Specialist Barker and Steven Green, a now discharged soldier, to rape Abeer Qassim al-Janabi.
Throughout this ordeal news outlets like the BBC have tried to portray this as an isolated incident, carried out or instigated by green the mentally unstable EX soldier. Do you see how they tried to cover all the bases, one it's by someone mad, two by someone who doesn't have access to Iraqi children as he is an EX soldier, three it was his idea alone and they went along.
What they all forget when peddling that story is there was soldiers with higher ranking than Green present.
Pte Spielman and another man, Bryan Howard, are awaiting court martial on charges related to the attack.
If they are pleading guilty, what are they waiting for?
Mr Green is being tried as a civilian because he was discharged from the army before his superiors knew of his suspected involvement. He denies the charges against him.
Does the reader notice the magical word "suspected" here? Throughout the article we are told how sorry some are and how one "cried" and how they ADMITTED to their barbaric actions but still the BBC sees fit to use the word "suspected". Readers familiar with my article "deconstructing the BBC rape story" will recall how the same BBC did not use "suspected" or "allegedly" when trying to demonize Sabreen.
All five belonged to the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which is also where the hearing took place.
If these pedophiles committed their atrocities in Iraq and Iraq's Judicial system sufficed for Saddam Hussein, why are these animals not being tried in Iraq?
In court, Cortez admitted the plan was hatched as they played cards and that the girl had been targeted because there was only one male in her house, making it an easy target
. (bold/italic my emphasis)
The third last word of this article is the most disgusting of all, "IT"!
The BBC writer couldn't even use Abeer's name, preferring to refer to the massacre as "IT".
The word "IT" doesn't personalize Abeer in the minds of the reader, the word RAPE would also have invoked the "wrong"image. Following are just some examples of an appropriate word(s) the writer may have used, abate, abolish, abrogate, annul, blot out, crush, decimate, demolish, do in, eradicate, erase, expunge, exterminate, extinguish, extirpate, finish off, invalidate, liquidate, massacre, murder, negate, nullify, obliterate, quash, quell, raze, rub out, ruin, slaughter, take out, undo, vitiate, wipe out, wrack,
BBC you should be ashamed of using "IT".
Antonia Juhasz and Raed Jarrar: BIG OIL IN, STABILITY OUT UNDER NEW IRAQI LAW
While debate rages in the United States about the military in Iraq, an equally important decision is being made inside Iraq - the future of its oil. A draft Iraqi law proposes to open the country's currently nationalized oil system to foreign corporate control. But emblematic of the flawed promotion of "democracy" by the administration of US President George W Bush, this new law is news to most Iraqi politicians.
A leaked copy of the proposed hydrocarbon law appeared on the Internet at the same time that it was introduced to the Iraqi Council of Ministers (cabinet). The law is expected to go to the Iraqi Council of Representatives within weeks. Yet the Internet version was the first look that most members of Iraq's Parliament had of the new law.
Many Iraqi oil experts, such as Fouad al-Ameer, who was responsible for the leak, think this law is not an urgent item on the country's agenda. Other observers and analysis share Ameer's views and believe the Bush administration, foreign oil companies and the International Monetary Fund are rushing the Iraqi government to pass the law.
Not every aspect of the law is harmful to Iraq. However, the current language favors the interests of foreign oil corporations over the economic security and development of Iraq. The law's key negative components harm Iraq's national sovereignty, financial security, territorial integrity and democracy.
read in full…
Pepe Escobar: US'S IRAQ OIL GRAB IS A DONE DEAL
US President George W Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney might as well declare the Iraq war over and out. As far as they - and the humongous energy interests they defend - are concerned, only now is the mission really accomplished. More than half a trillion dollars spent and perhaps half a million Iraqis killed have come down to this.
On Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet in Baghdad approved the draft of the new Iraqi oil law. The government regards it as "a major national project". The key point of the law is that Iraq's immense oil wealth (115 billion barrels of proven reserves, third in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran) will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy "Federal Oil and Gas Council" boasting "a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq". That is, nothing less than predominantly US Big Oil executives.
The law represents no less than institutionalized raping and pillaging of Iraq's oil wealth. It represents the death knell of nationalized (from 1972 to 1975) Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements (PSAs) - which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically US) Big Oil. Sixty-five of Iraq's roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit. As if this were not enough, the law reduces in practice the role of Baghdad to a minimum. Oil wealth, in theory, will be distributed directly to Kurds in the north, Shi'ites in the south and Sunnis in the center. For all practical purposes, Iraq will be partitioned into three statelets. Most of the country's reserves are in the Shi'ite-dominated south, while the Kurdish north holds the best prospects for future drilling.
read in full…
Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque: V-I DAY IS CLOSE AT HAND: NEW OIL LAW APPROVED IN BUSHIST BAGHDAD
February 26, 2007
Iraqi Cabinet Approves Draft of Oil Law (New York Times)
I may be writing more on this later, if I have the stomach for it, but read through the above New York Times report on the new oil law approved by the Iraqi government – and gasp in shock-and-awed wonder that the leading newspaper in the United States could file a story like this and only note – in the next-to-last paragraph – that Iraq's oil will controlled by the iron fist of a "central body called the Federal Oil and Gas Council" which will have "a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq" as part of the operation… without telling us that these "oil experts" will in fact be executives and representatives of American and other Western oil companies.
read in full…
Roads to Iraq: MERCENARIES IN IRAQ
‘Mercenaries’ to fill Iraq troop gap
…….25 Feb 2007
Officials from the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence will meet representatives from the private security industry within the next month to discuss “options” for increasing their business in Iraq in the coming years.
UN group concerned about involvement of private security companies in conflicts
……..26 February 2007
The United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries today expressed concern about the increasing involvement of private military and security companies in countries facing conflict, including their work protecting mining companies and the effect this has on local communities.
Nearly 800 contractors killed in Iraq
……23 Feb 2007
[…] nearly 800 civilians working under contract to the Pentagon have been killed and more than 3,300 hurt doing jobs.
[….] But when contractors are killed or wounded, the casualties are off the books.
>> BEYOND IRAQ
This morning’s suicide attack on an entry gate here has killed four people to include two Coalition Force personnel
and the suicide bomber. A U.S. Servicemember, one Coalition member and a U.S. Government contractor, whose nationality is unknown at this time, died when a suicide bomber detonated outside of the gate. The suicide bomber self-detonated outside the outer-most gate at Bagram Airfield. The three individuals killed were in proximity to the bomber when he blew himself up. More than 20 Afghans were injured in the attack and are being treated by medical personnel, bringing the total number of wounded to 27. Their conditions are unknown at this time.
A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney , killing at least 14 people and wounding a dozen more. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target. (…) Cheney, who spent the night at Bagram, left the base about two hours after the 10 a.m. blast. The explosion sent up a plume of smoke visible by reporters inside the base traveling with Cheney, and American military officials declared a "red alert" inside the base.
A South Korean soldier was among those killed in a bomb attack outside a U.S. military base in Afghanistan where U.S. vice President Dick Cheney was visiting, South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
The Noose Wire: CHENEY DODGES ASSASSINATION BY TELLING TALIBAN BOMBER TO F-OFF
A suicide bomber struck the main entrance to Bagram air base in Afghanistan today as Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying the intended target was Cheney, however the bomber kept his distance after the Vice President passed him a note that said, “Fuck off. Go bomb someone else.” Afterwards, at least 23 people were carried away in body bags. Cheney left as scheduled and flew to Kabul for his meeting with President Karzai, where he was greeted by a full honor ceremony.
Canadian troops have been involved in yet another civilian shooting on the streets of Kandahar
. An Afghan civilian driving a white Toyota the kind favoured by suicide bombers
was shot and killed by Canadian soldiers as they formed a security cordon around a broken down armoured vehicle. Maj. Dale MacEachern, an army spokesman, says the driver of the vehicle failed to heed repeated warnings to stop and stay away. [weasel wording in bold; unless modern-day Afghanistan is not The Land of A Tousand White Toyotas, as I imagine -- zig]
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "Just five days ago I saw a woman driver shot dead in front of my eyes. She was driving and they [private security teams, Baghdad's squads of foreign and Iraqi guns for hire] wanted to pass but she was not able to give way, so they just opened fire at her. The car crashed and I saw police pulling her body out of the vehicle." -- Baghdad taxi driver Dhia Mohammed Mahdi