Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Photo: A view of the dozens of corpses lying in the streets of Baghdad, often for weeks. These scenes of Iraq's civil war have become such a daily part of people's lives so much that they don't bother to remove the bodies. Those were taken in Adhamiya a month ago and the victims were judged as "strangers" or "spies" before they were shot and thrown with the garbage in the street. People in the neighbourhood just covered them with blankets and moved on. Those bodies are rarely counted in the daily death toll, and when they are counted they're just "unknown corpses." ("Scenes from Baghdad", Healing Iraq blog)
Bring 'em on: On Feb. 27, an MND-B unit was conducting a joint patrol with the Iraqi national police in order to provide continuous security and reduce the levels of violence in a western urban district of the Iraqi capital when they received small arms fire, killing one Soldier. (CENTCOM)
Bring 'em on: It is with deep regret that the MOD must confirm the death of a British soldier in Iraq as a result of an incident on the morning of 27 February 2007. The soldier was serving with the 2nd Battalion The Rifles (formerly 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets). He was on a routine patrol in the Al Maqil district of Basra which was attacked by small arms fire. (MoD UK)
A car bomb killed at least ten people in a crowded commercial area of western Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. The blast occurred in Baiyaa, a mixed neighborhood, just after the morning rush hour, police said. At least 20 people were wounded, they said. Baiyaa is one of Baghdad's most popular shopping districts, with hundreds of stores and kiosks. Witnesses said several shops and stalls were damaged, and four cars were incinerated by the explosion. Charred clothes hung from vendors' stalls
Shortly after the Baiyaa blast, at least four more explosions rang out across the Iraqi capital. It was unclear whether they were additional bombs or controlled blasts set off by the U.S. military. Sirens blared through the streets.
U-S commanders in Iraq report U-S forces have killed eight more suspected militants and captured a-half dozen others.A statement today says the eight deaths happened when U-S helicopters and jets fired on insurgents hiding in a palm grove on the northern outskirts of Baghdad. U-S intelligence had linked the militants to attacks on American troops. Two other suspects were captured in that operation.
The military says four more suspects have been captured in raids today elsewhere in Baghdad.
A suicide car bomber struck a police station in a busy area in central Baghdad on Wednesday, wounding two policemen, an Interior Ministry source said. "A suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden car into the entrance of the Bab al-Shiekh police station at around 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT), but the guards shot the driver dead while the explosives partially detonated," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The attack occurred in a busy area where the key parking lot of Garage al-Nahdhah is located, the source said. "Some of the explosive charges did not immediately explode, but were gradually detonated later, which gave enough time for people and policemen to flee the scene," the source added.
A suicide car bomber attacked a police station in Nahdha district in central Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding another two, police said.
A mortar round landed on the heavy fortified Baghdad Hotel in the eastern part of central Baghdad, which houses foreign contractors, the source said. It was not clear whether there was any casualty as the area is protected by U.S. and others foreign forces.
The tortured body of a senior police officer was discovered in central Baghdad, about two months after the man disappeared, an Interior Ministry official said.
Five mortar rounds landed at a crowded market in the Shurta al-Rabia neighborhood in southwestern the capital on Wednesday afternoon, killing four people and wounding 20 others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Diyala Prv:
Iraqi police forces killed a gunman and freed a captive during a security crackdown in west of Diala province, 57 km northeast of Baghdad, a police source said. "A U.S. and Iraqi combined force launched last night a security crackdown in al-Hadid district, west of Baaquba", the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
"Fierce clashes erupted during the operation between gunmen and Iraqi forces, which led to the killing of a gunman, while other gunmen fled the scene", he added. The source said "no casualties were reported among the combined force", he noted. He said that the forces managed to free a civilian, who was kidnapped by a group of armed men.
Two brothers of a prominent Sunni Iraqi member of the parliament were shot dead Wednesday, an Iraqi police source said. Unidentified gunmen shot dead the two brothers of MP Salim Abdullah, spokesman for the Sunni National Concord Front, in Muqdadiya, some 100 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, the source added. Abdullah is also a member in the Iraqi Islamic party led by the Iraqi Vice President Tarek al-Hashimi.
Al Maail:
Six mortar shells landed on the Shiite Muslim village of al-Maail
south of the Iraqi capital, killing one person and wounding 14, police said.
Al Rasheed:
A roadside bomb detonated on the mainroad at the al-Rasheed town, killing a civilian and wounding two others.
Several mortar rounds landed in a residential district, killing a man and woman, in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
Three roadside bombs exploded in Mahmoudiyah, about 18 miles south of Baghdad. One civilian was killed and three others were wounded, police said.
Mortars killed one civilian and wounded another four from the same family in the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
Two Iraqi policemen were killed when mortar shells landed onto a police checkpoint north of Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad, a police source said. "Two policemen were killed today when three mortar rounds hit a police checkpoint manned on the highway about 60 km north of Hilla city," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). He added "a building near the checkpoint was also damaged in the attack
Three British bases were attacked with Katyusha rockets
, but there was no damage. "The British bases at former President Saddam Hussein's palaces in central Basra, at Shatt al-Arab Hotel in north of the city and at Basra International Airport were attacked over night with Katyusha rockets and no damage was reported", Captain Katie Brown told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) over the phone.
An eyewitness in a residential area near Basra International Airport said that the British base there witnessed three different rocket attacks on Tuesday. "Warning sirens kept wailing in the base three times," he added.
Gunmen shot dead a man inside his car on Tuesday in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
Unidentified gunmen killed a taxi driver while on his way home late Tuesday in al-Suqour neighborhood , north of Tikrit, the source added.
"U.S. soldiers opened fire late Tuesday at a civilian vehicle with two young men aboard, killing them on the spot", the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). He said "the forces suspected that the two young men were gunmen trying to plant bombs that would target U.S. vehicle patrols."
Police forces found an unidentified body that had shot wounds in north of Tikrit, he said.
Police said a high-ranking officer and his driver were killed in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad,. Col. Abdul-Hadi Mohammed Saleh was on his way to work when gunmen sprayed his car with machine gun fire, Brig. Abdul-Karim al-Jabouri said. Saleh's driver was killed and his bodyguard injured, al-Jabouri added.
Police found a body shot in the head in the town of Himreen, 120 km (75 miles) south of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said.
Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded when an explosive device went off on the highway southwest of Kirkuk, 250km northeast Baghdad, while an official in Kirkuk police department survived an attempt on his life in south of the city, a police source said.
At least four Iraqi soldiers were seriously wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in the town of Riyadh, 60 km (40 miles) southwest of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, an army source said.
Al Anbar Prv:
At least four people were killed and six others were wounded when two mortar shells were fired onto al-Khalidiyah city, east of Ramadi, 110 km west of Baghdad, an eyewitness said on Wednesday. "Two unidentified mortar shells landed over night on al-Khalidiyah marketplace, killing four civilians and wounding six others, including a boy", an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) over the phone. The wounded were rushed to the city's medical centre, he added, highlighting that the attack caused severe material damage to several stores near the main mosque in the city.
An Iraqi army base was attacked with mortar shells near Falluja city, 45 km west of Baghdad, a security source said. "Three mortar shells landed today afternoon onto the Iraqi army base in Garma town," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). Garma town is 10 km west of Falluja city. The source who could not say if there were casualties among the Iraqi soldiers said "the Iraqi troops blocked all the ways leading to the base after the attack."
In Country:
(update) THE RAF Hercules transport aircraft destroyed in Iraq two weeks ago was crippled by an insurgent booby-trap as it landed under cover of darkness on a remote desert airstrip, The Herald can reveal. Sources say an initial investigation report on the incident in Maysan province said the special forces' C130 aircraft was hit when it touched down to deliver rations and fuel for mobile patrols along the Iranian border. The £45m J-model Hercules suffered "significant damage" which insiders say might have included a fuel tank fire after the bomb detonated, although all 38 crew and passengers escaped with minor injuries.
(update) A report that 18 boys were killed this week in a car bombing in Ramadi is "false," a senior U.S. military official said Wednesday. Iraqi state television reported Tuesday that the attack occurred that day in the Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad. Iraqi police and military confirmed the account, but later said the bombing took place Monday.
The offices of the president and prime minister had also denounced the reported attack. On Tuesday, a military statement said 30 civilians and one Iraqi soldier were injured by flying debris when troops destroyed 15 bags of explosives. None of the injuries was life-threatening, it added. "There was no second blast," Fox told reporters, "and there was no 18 children killed."
Iran is reviewing Baghdad's invitation to attend a regional conference on ways of easing tensions in Iran's neighbor, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The United States has said it will attend both a mid-level meeting in March and a ministerial meeting that may be held in April. Syria, accused by Washington of igniting tension in Iraq by failing to control its border, has also been invited.
Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Tehran was considering the offer.
Iranian officials had previously said Tehran was not interested in discussions before U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq.
"In order to help resolve problems in Iraq, Iran will do its utmost. We will attend the meeting if (we reach the conclusion) that it is in Iraq's interests," Larijani was quoted by Iran's state television as saying.
It's been almost 13 days since the Iraqi army and police supported by American troops started to carry out the new security plan, did anything change??
I think, yeah, actually there are things that have changed, now we have more blocked streets, and more fake checkpoints and patrols who practice sectarian violence in day and night.
It became almost impossible for people who lives in Karkh side to come to Alrasafa side on time and vice versa.
During my final exams in college, some students couldn't make it to college, others were like 2 hours late, because all streets and bridges are blocked, the rest suffered a lot to come to college and they had to bear the bad language and tirades of the soldiers in every single checkpoint.
The streets are still empty and filled with horror, gunmen and militias are still roaming the streets even in the presence of American or Iraqi patrols.
its really funny that the policy of those patrols is that if those gunmen won't hit us we won't hit them, so they can do whatever they want to do to the harmless people as long as they don't shoot us.
I think this is really what making Maliki and his crap security plan successful.
Nearly two weeks into the newest Baghdad security plan, the daily count of murder victims dumped on the city's streets has declined significantly, a likely sign that Shiite Muslim militia groups aligned with the Iraqi government have reined in their members or sent them out of the capital.
But deaths from bombings and mortar attacks, after an initial decline, have returned to the levels of the previous two months, suggesting that the plan's initial measures have had little impact on the Sunni insurgent groups believed to be responsible for most of that violence.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have released only limited information about what steps they've taken to secure the city since the plan's official kickoff on Feb. 15. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told President Bush last week that the plan, dubbed Operation Enforcing the Law, so far had been a "dazzling success." U.S. officials have been more cautious, saying that it may be months before the plan can be labeled a success or a failure.
Statistics compiled from official daily reports of the Interior Ministry and other Iraqi government sources, as well as interviews in 20 Baghdad neighborhoods about the plan's initial measures, however, show that some early judgments are possible about the plan's effectiveness. With most members of Congress expressing skepticism about the plan's prospects for success, such information could prove useful in the debate over Bush's plan to commit a total of 17,500 additional troops to the plan in the coming months.
From Dec. 1, 2006, through Feb. 14, the number of people killed in public places from violent attacks averaged 14.8 a day. From Feb. 15 through Monday, the number declined, but just barely, to 13.8. Car bombs were up slightly, from an average of 1.2 a day to 1.6, while roadside bombs were identical at 1 per day.
Injuries, on average, rose from 40.4 a day to 52.8 since the start of the plan, while bodies dumped by death squads declined from 22.8 a day to 14.6.
The increase in car bombs is particularly troubling. Members of Shiite militias often have cited Sunni car bombings as the driving force for their activities, which include targeting Sunnis for kidnapping and execution. On Sunday, the government announced new measures to stop car bombs, including prohibitions against parking or standing along major streets.
read in full…
ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff was nearly killed a year ago in an IED attack in Iraq. He's made a near-miraculous recovery. Bob Woodruff's hour-long documentary was broadcast last night on ABC. For those who missed it and for those in Iraq and elsewhere who couldn't see the ABC telecast, you can watch the entire program in six segments here:
-- Part one: The explosion (9'15")
-- Part two: The 36-day coma (12'16")
-- Part three: Wounded warriors (8'33")
-- Part four: Are we ready for our injured? (7'45")
-- Part five: The human cost of war (7'52")
-- Part six: Closing thoughts (52")
Woodruff will appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" program tomorrow night.
The March 17 March on the Pentagon is shaping up as a major step forward in the struggle to stop ongoing imperialist wars in Iraq and elsewhere. The ANSWER Coalition reports today that after a major free speech battle with various government entities for permits, the route is now fully permitted, and, in addition, a major collection of pro-impeachment groups have now signed on as endorsers, including such groups as After Downing Street, CODE PINK Women for Peace, Democrats.com, Democracy Rising, Gold Star Families for Peace, the Green Party of the United States, the National Lawyers Guild, Progressive Democrats of America, and World Can't Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime. There are more than 200 cities organizing transportation. And there's an impressive list of speakers, which you can see at the link above.
read in full…
(…) the Al-Hayat reporter quotes a spokesman for the Iraqi Accord Front, the biggest Sunni bloc in the national parliament, Salim Abdullah, who said: "Current circumstances are not appropriate for the adoption of an oil and gas law...We look on this law with skepticism and concern, in the light of the continuing security situation, which doesn't help in establishing a low like this one, particularly since it concerns the exploitation of oil, which is the most important element in Iraqi national income". He added: "We in the Iraqi Accord Front have a feeling foreign corporations had a role in deciding on this in their own interests, and we reject what the law suggests by way of privatization of the gas sector and transferrence of its management to foreign exploitation companies." And he added that revenue distribution should be free of sectarianism.
And the reporter quotes a member of the Oil Gas and Natural Resources committee of the national parliament who said there will not be quick passage of in parliament, "because of existing differences between the political blocs..."
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Mother Jones: IRAQ 101
All right, no more excuses, people. After four years in Iraq, it's time to get serious. We've spent too long goofing off, waiting to be saved by the bell, praying that we won't get asked a stumper like, "What's the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?" Okay, even the head of the House intelligence committee doesn't know that one. All the more reason to start boning up on what we-and our leaders-should have learned back before they signed us up for this crash course in Middle Eastern geopolitics. And while we're at it, let's do the math on what the war really costs in blood and dollars. It's time for our own Iraq study group. Yes, there will be a test, and we can't afford to fail.
IRAQ 101: From Allawi to Zarqawi
Players, Haters: Iraqi Politics at a Glance
CIVIL WAR: Lost in Transition
Things Fall Apart: The Iraqi Civil War FAQ
THE COST: Paying the Price
Down the Drain
AFTERMATH: Long-term Thinking
Breaking the Army
The Iraq Effect: The War in Iraq and Its Impact on the War on Terrorism
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The number of deaths attributed to Saddam Hussein by the West is incomprehensible. If you add them all up, it seems he killed more people than the number who inhabit Iraq. He had to work overtime and must have had advanced weaponry of which no one is aware.
Numbers and techniques abound: 182,000 during the Anfal campaign (Despite the numbers, not one body has been found. Maybe Saddam had a secret vaporizing ray); 5,000 in Halabja (About 300 bodies were found and there is much doubt as to the origin of the gas used against the Kurds); and hundreds of thousands in the south of Iraq.
In November 2003, word came out that more than 400,000 bodies had been discovered in mass graves in Iraq. "The whole country is a mass graveyard" was the slogan of the day. Finally, proof of Saddam being the Butcher of Baghdad was there for the whole world to see. Case closed.
Let’s go forward a few months from the discovery of the almost half million bodies. On July 18, 2004, the headline of the day for the British paper The Independent read, "British Prime Minister Admits Graves Claim Untrue." How could that be? George Bush and Tony Blair don’t lie. If we can’t trust them, who can we trust? Certainly not Saddam, even though he told the truth about WMD. That must have been a fluke.
read in full…
Make no mistake - Team Thug will go to any lengths to justify Bush's failed war. And if it means minimizing catasrophic injury to our fighting men and women, what the hey? No skin off Jim Nicholson's nose.
WOODRUFF: You think americans fully understand how many injured there are in this war?
NICHOLSON: I think it — i think it cuts both ways. I think Americans are always very surprised to know the number of amputations, for example, which is fewer than 600 in total. They’re probably also surprised to know that 200,000 come to the VA for some kind of medical treatment. That’s probably more than they think.
WOODRUFF: You have mental disorders — 73,000; diseases of nervous system — 61,000; symtpoms, signs of ill-defined conditions — 7,000; diseases of musculoskeletal system — 87,000. These are numbers beyond the 23,000.
NICHOLSON: A lot of them come in for dental problems, others come in for a lot of the normal things that people have. We’re providing their healthcare. Some I suppose are because of their service over there. But they weren’t evacuated for that.
WOODRUFF: But they got some kind of injury, some kind of problem because of the war.
NICHOLSON: That’s possible, yes.
Nicholson is supposed to be standing up for injured service men and women, not laughing off loss of limbs and brain injuries as 'dental problems.'
This insensitive son of a bitch should resign. Today.
Some new information about the failed attempt to assassinate Abdul-Mahdi [Iraq's vice president, who escaped unhurt Monday after a bomb exploded in municipal offices in Baghdad where he was making a speech -- zig].
According Iraqirabita, a car was prepared two days before the attempt to follow his movements.
With Abdul-Mahdi himself said today that the assassination is an inside job and some influential government official behind it, Iraqirabita say that Maliki cooperating with Mahdi Army.
investigations conducted by the police, showed that a certain official behind the blast
Few weeks ago people spoke about Abdul-Mahdi, that he is the best candidate to take Maliki’s position, was it an attempt from Maliki to remove the “best candidate” from his way.
The good news about all this is; this prove that there is a hidden war inside the “Green Zone”, and the US sooner or later will join..or they are already joined.
One way to understand the effect of 9/11, in most general terms, is to see that it allowed the agenda developed in the 1990s by neoconservatives—-often called simply “neocons”---to be implemented. There is agreement on this point across the political spectrum. From the right, for example, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke say that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”1 Stephen Sniegoski, writing from the left, says that “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda of the neocons to become the policy of the United States of America.”2
What was this agenda? It was, in essence, that the United States should use its military supremacy to establish an empire that includes the whole world--a global Pax Americana. Three major means to this end were suggested. One of these was to make U.S. military supremacy over other nations even greater, so that it would be completely beyond challenge. This goal was to be achieved by increasing the money devoted to military purposes, then using this money to complete the “revolution in military affairs” made possible by the emergence of the information age. The second major way to achieve a global Pax Americana was to announce and implement a doctrine of preventive-preemptive war, usually for the sake of bringing about “regime change” in countries regarded as hostile to U.S. interests and values. The third means toward the goal of universal empire was to use this new doctrine to gain control of the world’s oil, especially in the Middle East, most immediately Iraq.
In discussing these ideas, I will include recognitions by some commentators that without 9/11, the various dimensions of this agenda could not have been implemented. My purpose in publishing this essay is to introduce a perspective, relevant to the debates about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, that thus far has not been part of the public discussion.
read in full…
Suspected pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan's tribal areas have killed a cleric they accused of spying for US forces in Afghanistan, officials say. The man's beheaded body was found dumped in a bag by a roadside in South Waziristan on Wednesday.
The head of the US military declared "categorically" Tuesday that the United States is not planning air strikes against Iran. "It is not true," said General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, when asked during an appearance in Congress about suggestions that the US military was preparing to launch air strikes on Iran.
Asked by Senator Robert Byrd if he was categorically denying the reports, Pace replied: "Categorically sir".
I represent the 7% of Americans that travel abroad each year. Ordinarily, I would be proud to belong to this statistic. Yet having done the majority of my globetrotting during the Bush Administration years, I find my nationality to be the biggest cause of stress in my travels. I have learned that being an American is something you can no longer be proud of- well, at least if you have any knowledge of global affairs. In fact I am ashamed of my nationality. But wait a second here…. before I am accosted by the headstrong patriot with ten “United we stand” bumper stickers adorning his SUV, let me say this: I understand the value of pride in opportunity, equality and justice- but NOT in nationalism for the sake of nationalism! And that is what is at stake here: American insular ideology. Traveling abroad has allowed me a new perspective on this skewed American self-image. I am grateful for my opportunities, my freedom, and my standard of living- but I am ashamed of my government’s corruption, my people’s ignorance and my nation’s neo-colonial egotism. But you needn’t be a hardcore lefty to agree with me. All you need is to go abroad to be reminded of the global hatred toward our nation.
read in full…
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody." -- Laura Bush today on CNN's "Larry King Live"


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Photo: 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)
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.
Wassit Prv:
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.
Al Baaj:
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.
Qadisiya Prv:
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."
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.
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…
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…
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.
Card game
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".
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…
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…
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…
‘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.
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.
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


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)
read in full…
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.
read in full…
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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