DAILY WAR NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, March 21, 2007
: Iraqi girls watch as a U.S. army soldier from the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment holds a hand gun that he found while searching their home in western Baghdad's Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliyah, Iraq, Wednesday, March 21, 2007. U.S. troops conducted a major house to house search in parts of Ghazaliyah Wednesday. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
U.S. soldiers killed five suspected militants
on Wednesday in a raid on a bomb-making factory north of Baghdad that was later destroyed in an air strike, the U.S. military said. The military said the operation near Taji, 20 km north of Baghdad, uncovered a number of 50-gallon barrels of explosive material.
"Two roadside bombs detonated near passing police patrols near the Beirut Square
in eastern part of the capital, damaging a police vehicle and wounding two policemen aboard," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blasts also damaged several nearby civilian cars and wounded three people, the source added.
Two people were killed when a roadside bomb targeting a passing police patrol in Palestine street exploded
. Three policemen were wounded.
A bystander was killed and two guards of the finance ministry were wounded when US troops detonated a car bomb
they discovered next to the ministry, a defence ministry official said. The controlled explosion rocked central Baghdad and shook windows in buildings as thick white smoke rose into the sky.
Police discovered a booby- trapped truck in downtown Baghdad
. Police experts were called in to conduct an under-control explosion, wounding 12 civilians and security members, the source added.
Iraqi police detonated a huge truck bomb near the Finance Ministry in Baghdad on Wednesday in a controlled explosion that collapsed part of the main highway linking the north and south of the capital. Police said they discovered the truck bomb parked under the Mohammed al-Qassim highway just metres from the ministry building. The explosives were hidden under a pile of lettuces. They detonated the bomb in a controlled explosion but were apparently taken by surprise by the force of the blast, which reduced a section of the raised highway to rubble, punched holes in the ministry building and blew out its windows.
Three policemen were wounded when two roadside bombs detonated in quick succession
near a passing police patrol in Zaiyounah neighborhood, the source said.
Gunmen killed police captain Hussein Abdullah
on Tuesday in the western Baghdad district of Mansour, police said.
A member of parliament and senior member of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's movement, said U.S. forces staged an overnight raid on his office in northern Baghdad's Kadhimiya district.
Araji said they seized a pistol, rifle and a computer memory card.
“A number of armed groups started to bring down satellite dishes in Muqdadiyah district
,” eyewitnesses told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). They also warned residents against using the dishes.
A group of tribal forces in the district engaged in clashes with al-Qaeda-linked armed groups
in Diala province.
Eight people were killed and 18 wounded in twin mortar attacks in Al-Madaen
, a small town south of Baghdad, police said. One mortar landed in a residential area wounding several people, prompting crowds to gather. A second mortar then smashed into the crowd, causing most of the casualties.
Iraqi police patrols found in the wee hours on Wednesday two unidentified bodies
in al-Madaen district, southeast of Baghdad, said a police source.
Two Iraqi police officers escaped attempts on their lives
when two explosive charges went off near their houses in central Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad, said a police source. “The bombs were planted outside their houses,” media spokesman from the Babel police department, Captain Muthana Khaled Ali, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). “The first bomb was detonated at 7:30 am on Wednesday in al-Shawi region in central Hilla, while the second bomb went off ten minutes later in Nader region, also in central Hilla,” he added. The blasts caused material damage to the two houses.
Police said they found the body of a man
, shot in the head and bound, on Tuesday in Diwaniya.
A policeman was killed and eight wounded, including four civilians, when clashes erupted
between police and gunmen on Tuesday in several districts of Diwaniya, 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
The bodies of two police commandos were found with gunshot wounds
in the southern city of Diwaniya, 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad, police said
British forces launched a crackdown operation in Hussein neighborhood,
west of Basra, in the early hours of Wednesday that targeted two houses, believed to be involved in indirect shooting against the British Consulate in central Basra,” Captain Katie Brown told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by phone. “Three suspected gunmen fled from the place during the operation, while the forces managed to arrest a suspect in the second house,” she added. “The British patrol came under attack while leaving the area and a shootout started with a group of gunmen, during which one of the attackers was wounded,” she said.
Police said that they found the bodies of seven people shot dead
on Tuesday in different districts of the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.
Al Anbar Prv:
U.S.-Iraqi troops backed by American warplanes battled al-Qaida-linked insurgents
for more than five hours in clashes near Fallujah that left eight killed and five Iraqi policemen wounded, the military said. Local police then killed two al-Qaida fighters and wounded five in a gunbattle, Hollenbeck said in an e-mailed statement, adding that five policemen also were wounded. Insurgents using a roadside bomb during the 10-hour operation killed one civilian and wounded five, it said.
Gunmen killed a former army brigadier and a friend in a drive-by shooting in the city of Falluja
, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.
Iraq's vice president called for talks with the country's myriad insurgent groups
as the only way to tame violence more than a month into a massive security plan to quell Baghdad.
Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, made the remarks as it emerged that the US Army had released an aide of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, one of America's sworn enemies in Iraq, apparently on the request of the prime minister. (…)
Hashemi told the BBC in an interview broadcast a day after the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion that militants, terror network Al-Qaeda excluded, were "just part of the Iraqi communities."
"I do believe there is no way but to talk to everybody," said Hashemi, who was due in Tokyo later Wednesday.
All groups "should be invited, should be called to sit down around the table to discuss their fears, their reservations," he said, despite saying Al-Qaeda was "not very much willing, in fact, to talk to anybody."
Hundreds of chanting mourners buried Saddam Hussein's former vice president near the ousted dictator
, his sons and two other executed deputies Tuesday in a spot that has become the graveyard of the ousted regime.
Taha Yassin Ramadan's body, which was covered with the Iraqi flag, was interred in a building courtyard in the Tigris River village of Ouja hours after he was hanged for his part in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims following a 1982 assassination attempt on Saddam.
>> COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Left I on the News: CONVENTIONAL "WISDOM" ON IRAQ
A lot of people, politicians and pundits and "regular" people, take the attitude that "we" just can't leave Iraq, because we'll be abandoning the Iraqi people to chaos, and the occupation is the only thing preventing that from happening. This is something you hear from people who supported the war but now say they realize it was a bad idea (but they still don't think we can actually leave) as well as from people who were opposed to the war from the start. This line is said with absolute authority - the speaker knows
this is what will happen if U.S. forces leave Iraq.
Even if this conventional wisdom were true, it wouldn't justify an illegal occupation. But there's one more little problem though - by a 2-1 margin, the Iraqi people, who are in a lot better position to know than American politicians and pundits, don't think it's true!
This is what I think is the key result of a new poll (pdf link) that the media are writing and talking about. The question was, "do you believe that the security situation in Iraq will get better or worse in the immediate weeks following a withdrawal of Multi National Forces?" 29% said it would get "a great deal better," 24% said "a little better," and 6% said "stay the same." Only 26% thought it would get a little or a lot worse. So that's three out of five Iraqis, a clear majority, who think that the security situation in Iraq will not get worse, and only one in four who think it will get worse.
With all the coverage of this poll I've read and heard, though, (e.g., Washington Post, New York Times
), not a single one has highlighted the result of this particular question, which relates directly to the major rationale offered why U.S. troops have to stay in Iraq. Funny, that.
Firas Al-Atraqchi, The Daily Star Egypt: FOUR YEARS LATER, THE ANNIHILATION OF IRAQ IS STILL ON COURSE
Four years ago, US-led forces began a vicious aerial bombardment of the oil-rich country of Iraq. Referred to as Operation Iraqi Freedom, the opening salvo ushered the vital Arab nation into an era of darkness, dread and destruction.
The first signs that Iraqis were in for a bloody and inhumane occupation were felt in the "precision bombing" of Baghdad and other cities. Arab media clamored viciously to broadcast the freshest images of civilian dead which were coming in to news bureaus every hour.
In the 1,461 days that have since passed, Iraq as a nation is in decay; its people are displaced — refugees in neighboring countries. Nearly 700,000 Iraqis of all religions and sects have died. Public order is in disarray; gunshots and explosions in schools, marketplaces, and parks have replaced the chirp and chatter of everyday life.
Mosques and churches have been leveled. Towns and villages have been cleansed. Cities have been occupied and systematically destroyed. Sectarian hatred has become civil law as thousands of families escape persecution and death.
Nearly five million Iraqis have escaped the carnage that is their once-loved country and now rely on the kindness — and patience — of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and others.
I have met many of these refugees in said countries; all are worn out. A sadness … a heaviness is to be found in their countenances, their eyes are sleepless and empty. They tell tales of horror, describing Iraq as a country fallen to zealotry, terrorism, and religious fanaticism.
They used to grimace when hearing of a 10-year-old neighbor kidnapped, raped, and beheaded. They used to gasp when hearing of a young Christian woman garroted because she refused to don the veil. They used to cry out in anger upon hearing a 14-year-old girl was raped by four US soldiers.
They do these things no longer. Iraqis are the waking dead. Zombies, if Hollywood analogies are permitted here.
read in full…
Khalid Jarrar: THE FOURTH YEAR
The fourth year has arrived.
my biggest fear is that i will be sitting on a chair every year, posting about the fifth year, seventh year, 20th year of occupation and it's harvest of blood, pain and disappointment.
The policy and decision makers of the United states of American has turned into the most arrogant idiots, drunk with power to the point that they can't drive their way home from Iraq anymore.
We have a saying: God supports a just nation even if it was an infidel nation, and destroys an unjust one even if it believed in him. And it's about the time to say it, USA have became the unjust nation that needs to be removed, not removed off the map with a nuclear bomb i mean, but removed from it's position as the leader of the world.
USA doesn't have the moral superiority propaganda on it's side anymore. It's a mere mission of greed and aggression that its leading in the world now: If we don't like you, we shoot you. If you don't give us your wealth, we shoot you, and if you don't like us for doing this to others, we gladly shoot you too.
This has to come to an end. (…)
I say again: if it wasn't that the American army is losing by all means, most of Americans wouldn't have moved a hand, or a tongue to demand the withdrawal of the army from Iraq.
So after all, resistance does work.
of course it does work. Haven't you read the history?
Any occupied people revolt immediately or eventually, and when people do, armies never stand a chance, says history.
Yes the resistance, the national patriot resistance, the one that is attacking the American army and the other occupying armies, and everyone that helps them and protects them. Not the terrorists that are killing Iraqis, weather Sunna or Shea, no not those. Those nobody knows who they are and where were they before the occupation, they somehow grew and flourished under the umbrella of the occupation, and i dare say as a direct reason of it; when Bramer created the concept of the sectarian based distribution of government, it all started, and that was over a year after the war, so for a whole year Iraqis were heavily loaded with weapons and under a completely safe environment, and they didn't jump on each other, no sectarian tension was registered that led to battles, no Iranian or Iranian based militias killing Sunna and definitely no Sunni militias killing Shea too, neither, and if you go to Jordan or Syria now, there are about a million Iraqi refuge in each of these countries alone, ran out for their lives from the hell-y situation in Iraq, and among those millions of people we never heard till this very moment of any fight or any sort of sectarian based problems, which means that as i said: this sectarian tension was created politically by the occupation: divide and conquer.
But back to what i was saying: The national patriot resistance, the simple everyday Iraqis that can't be self centred and say: let Iraq fight on it's own, we will hide in our houses. No sir, no madam, they didn't. They left their lives and Jobs, as any hero in any occupied country would do, held their weapons and started to fight. And they did indeed make the life of the strongest army in the world a living hell, no doubt,they taught them the lesson: if we bite each other's fingers, you will be the ones to scream first.
Iraqis are in Iraq, the proper place for Iraqi people!, and have no where else to go, and will stay there and will fight there till the end, because simply they are too proud to be occupied, and simply because they have no where else to go after most of the countries in the world decided they won't open their doors to Iraqis and won't hold their burden, countries including USA itself, that accepted a tiny number of Iraqi refuges since the war, a shameful three figures number.
what a shame. what a shame.
And even terrorism itself, which is the killing of innocent people for no crime they did [excluding that done by the occupation at this particular context], is not making the life of the US army any easier too, it's just another indicator of how bad they are running the battle ground and how much they lack the ability to control the security in Iraq. Hell, news here are nothing but the death toll of the day.
So as a conclusion i have to say: That it's shameful enough, and hurtful enough to say, and sad enough yet truthful enough, that for most Americans it actually requires terrorism that kills innocent people, and resistance that kills thousands of Americans and burns billions of American money, to make them demand an end to an occupation, but still basing on their own losses and not because of the feeling of responsibility or guilt over what they did to Iraq, now correct me if i am wrong here, but there is something seriously wrong with this moral equation here. (…)
Sad fourth birthday hateful spiteful occupation, Sad fourth birthday dear beloved Iraq, i miss you, and i promise you that there will be an end, soon.
read in full…
Joseph Cannon, Cannonfire: THE WAR OF WORDS
Just a thought on this distressing anniversary (at least to us, if not to King George, the sports fan)….
Let’s stop dignifying this messo’potamia in Iraq by calling it a war. What has happened in Iraq is NOT a "war," it was never a "war," and the only real "war" that could ever come of our presence there is a civil war that no one in this administration can admit, and that we should not be party to in any way, shape or form. Certainly not now, after all.
Instead, let’s loudly insist that this very undignified mess be called what it is, an invasion of a sovereign nation that has led to our occupation of that nation.
We invaded Iraq, and we now occupy Iraq. This is not a war, it is an invasion and occupation.
The only folks involved who have any right to refer to our presence in Iraq as a war are the Iraqis themselves. We forfeited that right when we determined to be the aggressors, raising our bomb-filled fists and screeching "THIS MEANS WAR!!" without any real provocation whatsoever articulated or proven in that "this."
The implications of such a shift in wording are enormous for not only how the public responds to the situation (as if the public could be much more outraged if we called it genocide of Americans), but for how the debate is actually undertaken, particularly in Congress.
read in full…
>> BEYOND IRAQ
A private security guard from Irmo was seriously injured
when a suicide bomber exploded his car next to a U.S. embassy convoy in Afghanistan. Tommy Cullinan, 27, works for North Carolina-based Blackwater Security Service, which has a contract to provide security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
The decapitated body of an Afghan truck driver supplying NATO forces in southern Afghanistan was found
dumped at the side of a highway.
Militants at the weekend cut off the noses and ears of three drivers supplying US military bases
in the mountainous eastern province of Nuristan. Police blamed the Taliban.
A clash between U.S. troops and militants in western Afghanistan on Wednesday left one Afghan child dead
and three others wounded, Afghan officials said.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
: "We (…) need to stop talking about 'insurgents.' These people are, by definition, resistance fighters. Insurgents are, by definition, individuals who fight against an established government; there is no established government in Iraq, not one that the citizens fully recognize as independent of the US. On the other hand, a resistance is, by definition, a fight against an occupying force. This is no less trivial distinction, and it is also not unrelated to making the distinction between calling this a war or calling this what it truly is, an invasion and occupation." -- from"The War of Words" by Joseph Cannon (see above)