Saturday, February 10, 2007

Photo: "(…) a child [in Haifa Street] who was deliberately targeted by a sniper whilst someone was trying to save him/her." (See below “Made by USA in Haifa-Street")
Gunmen have clashed with troops guarding one of the first forward bases set up by US and Iraqi troops in downtown Baghdad as part of their new joint operation to pacify the city.
The "combat outpost" in the Adhamiyah district came under sustained fire for almost an hour and American troops responded with rifle and machinegun fire, an AFP photographer at the base reported Saturday.
Following the clash, US soldiers in armoured vehicles headed out to search the area and attempt to track down the attackers. There were no initial reports of casualties among US and Iraqi forces.
An Iraqi defence official said fighting had broken out after a joint Iraqi-US force raided a suspected stronghold of an illegal armed group and that gunbattles were continuing almost two hours later, after nightfall.
Bring ‘em on: Coalition Forces from Task Force Lightning were searching for a cache and clearing a building in Diyala province when an explosion occurred in the building. Three Soldiers were killed and four were wounded as a result of the explosion Friday. (MNF - Iraq)
A car bomb killed three civilians and wounded five when it exploded on a road in eastern Baghdad.
A suicide car bomber killed five people and wounded 10 near a queue outside a bakery in the mainly Shi'ite district of Karrada, police sources said.
One person was killed and five were wounded when Shiite militiamen attacked Sunni houses in western Baghdad's Ghazaliya neighborhood,, officials said.
A roadside bomb killed one civilian in the town of Mussayab.
Gunmen killed three members of a family when they stormed a house in the town of Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad. Another two family members were wounded.
Iskandariya: A mortar shell wounded two civilians in the town of Iskandariya.
Abu Gharid:
A policemen was killed as he drove to work in Abu Gharid, 20 kilometres west of Baghdad. The police officer stopped at an intersection when armed gunmen left their civilian vehicle and started firing at him. According to a police source, quoted by Voices of Iraq, the policeman died instantly.
Three civilians were killed and two others wounded in an attack by unidentified gunmen on Saturday in a residential section in Hilla, the capital of Babel province, 100 km south of Baghdad.
The British forces media spokeswoman said on Saturday two British bases in Basra came under attack with mortars and Katyusha rockets. "Katyush rockets were fired over night and today morning onto the British base at Basra international airport in northwest of Basra while mortars fell onto the British base at Shatt-el-Arab hotel in north of the city," Captain Katie Brown told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq.
The spokeswoman who did not mention how many rockets and mortars were fired at the bases said "the attacks caused no damage." An eyewitness told VOI "more than 30 Katyusha rockets slammed into the base at Basra as siren was heard at the base overnight and today morning."
A police officer was killed when gunmen attacked his car in western Mosul on Saturday morning. Another police officer was wounded.
An Iraqi soldier was killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near an Iraqi army patrol west of Mosul on Saturday. Three Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were wounded in the blast.
Tal Afar:
A suicide car bomber killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded five people, including three civilians, as it targeted an army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar.
Dozens of Shiites and a handful of Sunnis gathered for the reopening of a Sunni mosque in Baghdad's Sadr City. Local officials said they hoped to encourage members of the displaced Sunni minority to return to the district as part of reconciliation efforts. A Sunni cleric led a joint prayer under the mosque's blue mosaic dome and beige minaret. Interior Ministry commandos stood guard outside.
Haq Agency Special Report: MADE BY USA IN HAIFA-STREET
Occupied Baghdad, February 9, 2007
The Haq agency managed to get hold of a series of photos related to the ongoing battle that is taking place in Haifa Street.
A battle waged on the one hand by :
- The American occupying forces
-The Shia Iraqi governmental guards.
-The Shia militias of Jaysh al Mahdi and the Badr Brigades and
- the small militias of Jaysh Jalal also known as "Baratha".
and on the other hand by :
- the Ahl al Sunna i.e.the sunnis inhabitants of Haifa Street and the neighboring areas who were also trying to protect themselves from the above assault.
Some of the documented stories of the massacres undertaken by the American forces and the Iraqi guards and militias are shown in the pictures below.
1) The shelling and bombing that the inhabitants were subjected to.
2) the corpses of sunni youths tortured to death by the Iraqi army and the militias. Tortured by the following methods :
- pouncing , kicking and beating to death
- burning alive
- plucking eyes out
- crashing /smashing skulls and having armed vehicles (tanks) run over them.
3) added to the above, there is also the picture of a child who was deliberately targeted by a sniper whilst someone was trying to save him/her.
The reporter from Haq agency confirmed that these images taken represent only a tiny part of the reality of what is happening there. (…)
Shortly a full film of the crimes of Haifa street will be shown on al Haq site , crimes committed by the American Army , the Iraqi governmental guards and the militias.
WARNING: Extremely Graphic Images
read in full…
For the first time, one of Iraq's principal insurgent groups has set out the terms of a ceasefire that would allow American and British forces to leave the country they invaded almost four years ago.
The present terms would be impossible for any US administration to meet - but the words of Abu Salih Al-Jeelani, one of the military leaders of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Resistance Movement show that the groups which have taken more than 3,000 American lives are actively discussing the opening of contacts with the occupation army.
Al-Jeelani's group, which also calls itself the "20th Revolution Brigades'', is the military wing of the original insurgent organisation that began its fierce attacks on US forces shortly after the invasion of 2003. The statement is, therefore, of potentially great importance, although it clearly represents only the views of Sunni Muslim fighters.
Shia militias are nowhere mentioned. The demands include the cancellation of the entire Iraqi constitution - almost certainly because the document, in effect, awards oil-bearing areas of Iraq to Shia and Kurds, but not to the minority Sunni community. Yet the Sunnis remain Washington's principal enemies in the Iraqi war.
"Discussions and negotiations are a principle we believe in to overcome the situation in which Iraqi bloodletting continues," al-Jeelani said in a statement that was passed to The Independent. "Should the Americans wish to negotiate their withdrawal from our country and leave our people to live in peace, then we will negotiate subject to specific conditions and circumstances."
Al-Jeelani suggests the United Nations, the Arab League or the Islamic Conference might lead such negotiations and would have to guarantee the security of the participants.
Then come the conditions:
* The release of 5,000 detainees held in Iraqi prisons as "proof of goodwill".
* Recognition "of the legitimacy of the resistance and the legitimacy of its role in representing the will of the Iraqi people".
* An internationally guaranteed timetable for all agreements.
* The negotiations to take place in public.
* The resistance "must be represented by a committee comprising the representatives of all the jihadist brigades".
* The US to be represented by its ambassador in Iraq and the most senior commander. read in full…
The offer of a ceasefire by one of the main Sunni insurgent groups will be received with interest in Washington. But there is scant chance it will be accepted by the Bush administration as a serious basis for a negotiated exit from Iraq - or that such talks are even practical amid the current chaos in the country.
Feelers between the two sides are not new. Over the past two years, as the depth and scope of the insurgency grew, reports surfaced of back-channel contacts between US military representatives and the insurgents - including the "1920 Revolution Brigade", a wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement that is behind the latest offer. (…)
The new offer has some points acceptable to the US, notably the involvement of the UN and the Arab League in any deal. But the US would be required to sit down publicly with "terrorists". Implicitly, too, it would be siding against the Shia-dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki, to which the Bush administration is still committed.
The demands for the current Baghdad government to be disbanded, and past elections to be nullified, would moreover repudiate the only concrete achievements the Bush White House can claim in its efforts to bring "democracy" to Iraq.
read in full…
Al-Badeel Al-Iraqi claims to have photographic evidence that U.S. troops used banned weapons munitions, including chemical weapons, in its aerial assault during the Zarga battle near Najaf two weeks ago. The website says it will publish the photos as part of a comprehensive report very soon. Meanwhile, SCIRI's Buratha News Agency reports on a demonstration in Zarga by members of the Hawatim tribe protesting claims on Sharqiya TV and by Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud Al-Mashadani that Iraqi security forces targeted the tribe and framed it as a confrontation with an unknown terrorist group. Leaders of the tribe pledged allegiance to the Iraqi government and the religious establishment (Marja'iya) of Najaf during the demonstration, which was attended by the head of the Najaf Governorate Council and other local officials. The Iraqi Rabita website alleged that the demonstration was staged under orders by Najaf Governor As'ad Abu Gilel (SCIRI) who threatened the tribe's leaders if they do not toe the government line and deny the media reports.
February 8, 2007 by Jamie Tarabay, NPR
In Iraq, improvised explosive devices pose a constant threat to security forces. The makeshift bombs are stashed on the sides of roads, buried in trash or hidden just about anywhere. The U.S. military has sought to train Iraqi security forces to handle them on their own.
But things don't always go as planned.
U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan Lord hadn't driven his Humvee more than 50 yards out of Forward Operating Base Warrior when he came upon Iraqi police standing in the middle of the road. An IED had been spotted up ahead, they told the Americans.
In most cases, that means a U.S. explosives ordnance team comes in to defuse the bomb. But in this case, an Iraqi explosives team is on the case.
The Iraqi police start shooting at the potential bomb, hoping to set it off. But to no avail. The convoy continues to sit and wait.
An hour passes. As Sgt. Lord watches, the Iraqi police move closer to the suspected bomb.
The first IED turns out to be a fake. To the surprise of the American soldiers, this emboldens the Iraqi police, who are now focusing on the second suspected bomb.
"Oh, he kicked it," says an American soldier watching.
"The second one must have been safe," Lord says, "because they went over to it, kicked it over, and then threw it across the road."
An hour and a half after first stopping, the convoy moves on.
The above classified ad, currently running in German newspapers, reads: "ARABIC speaking extras wanted! Would you like to earn €90+ per day? Do you speak a little German or English as well as ARABIC? If so, we have a job for YOU!"
A German casting agency is holding cattle calls to hire 600 Arabic speakers to play the roles of Iraqis in upcoming American military training exercises.
The extras have to play the roles of mayors, terrorists, pregnant women or traders. The US units taking part in the exercise will have certain tasks to complete as part of their training.
The civilians' main task, on the other hand, will be to not understand the US soldiers. Probably will make them a little crazy.
According to Christian Fuchs in Der Spiegel, those hired as extras will live for three weeks, from March 20 to April 11, at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) in Hohenfels, Bavaria, located between Nuremberg and Regensburg.
The 16,000-hectare training ground includes ten artificial villages. The extras are supposed to play "the role of an Arab in Iraq" for 24 hours a day, according to the casting agent in Berlin. The women have to wear headscarves, the men turbans. There is a mosque, a brothel, several barracks and dormitories where the extras -- known as "Civilians on the Battlefield" (COB) in military jargon -- will sleep.
According to Al-Hayat today, The deputy governor of Diyala province said: "members of AlQaeda and of armed groups allied with it" control entire cities in his province.
Juan Cole changed that to: "Sunni Arab religious radicals" control entire cities... Similarly he said yesterday "a radical Muslim group" claimed to have shot down the Chinook helicopter, adding "it isn't clear whether the Sunni Arab guerillas are getting better weapons..." even though that claim was actually made by a specific group, the Islamic State of Iraq.
Why not name the groups ? What's with the "Sunni Arab guerillas"?
USA Today reports a resurgence of activity in the US by the KKK, but it doesn't call them "white Protestant terrorists", it calls them the KKK. Only combatants or partisans refer to specific combatant groups on the other side by their ethnic or religious names in preference to the specific group name, and the purpose behind that is often to stoke the underlying ethnic and religious hatred.
At some point in the future, post-Maliki, the question of Iraq-government power-sharing is going to be raised again, and died-in-the-wool partisans of the SCIRI-Dawa Shiite establishment would surely like to see the phrase "Sunni Arab" take on a negative coloration in the run-up to that. Juan seems to be helping out with that.
There's nothing wrong with being a supporter of the SCIRI-Dawa establishment. What's wrong is propagandizing for them under the guise of objective reporting.
A man is raping a woman. He has been raping the woman off and on for many years. Despite her vigorous resistance, for the past four years he rapes her relentlessly. He occupies her body. He shares her with his friends.
When must he withdraw? Only when he is spent? Only when it's convenient?
The word "occupation" (like "invasion") was carefully avoided by the authors of the Iraq Study Group Report. But even that taboo word is vague, anemic. It muffles reality. The U.S. invasion -- and ongoing violation -- of Iraq is mega-rape. It is mega-crime. It is war crime. (…)
While utterly necessary, removing all U.S. troops from Iraq isn't sufficient. Doing so won't end U.S. aggression. It is the U.S. air war that is responsible for so many of the tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. Unless we explicitly mobilize against the air war, when our troops are deployed elsewhere, this less publicized assault will surely continue.
But let's assume that somehow both the land war and the air war cease. Let's assume the rapists disentangle themselves from their victim's bleeding limbs. Is the victim's protracted ordeal over?
No. The trauma persists.
Apart from the mass killing, apart from the mass maiming,
~ chaos and terror reign.
~ ethnic and sectarian tensions have been intensified.
~ much of Iraq's public health infrastructure has been demolished.
~ many of Iraq's sacred places and sacred traditions have been despoiled.
~ Iraq's environment has been poisoned by the toxic and radioactive depleted uranium used in U.S. weaponry.
~ U.S. corporations are expropriating Iraq's resources and devouring her newly privatized enterprises.
~ Iraqis -- already bankrupted -- are being forced to repay the billions Saddam Hussein borrowed from his western banker allies, i.e. his odious debt.
~ Iraqis are being forced to pay billions in reparations to Kuwait for a war they were conscripted to wage. (But who pays Iraqis their reparations for the devastation they endure?)
In a civilized country rapists are indicted and incarcerated. The architects of Iraq's rape -- Cheney and Bush and their neo-con and corporate cronies -- are too dangerous to be allowed to run loose. A Nuremberg-like tribunal must be organized to quarantine them for decades to come.
They've kicked on the door of a Sadrist health minister and taken him down the nick, an obvious attempt to provoke a confrontation. Who knows if the Mahdi Army would have the military strength to face own the occupiers in open combat? There are a couple of things to note in respect of this: first, the US has evidently given up on the idea of trying to integrate the Sadrists into a US client-regime; second, this is the second time in recent days that they have undertaken an operation against opponents in the SCIRI. This fits into a more general strategy of encouraging sectarianism, long supported by neoconservatives.
It comes at the beginning of a new clampdown, or as the BBC puts it: "US and Iraqi forces have announced a major offensive in the Baghdad area, aimed at ending spiralling violence by Sunni and Shia militants." There is no shortage of violence in Baghdad, and much of it is directed at the population of Sadr City in the form of car bombs. It could all be those takfiris, but I personally suspect some modern day Edward Lansdale [one of American military intelligence's most celebrated psy-ops specialists; Demopedia bio] has a hand in it. The fact that the US is using death squads known as 'Special Police Commandos' and that the current head of the US army in Iraq, Lt Gen Petraeus, was in charge of the SPC while they conducted their worst atrocities, add to the suspicion. This by no means implies that there is no sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni communities, but it does imply that the US is far from above using, encouraging and funding it. Neither are the British, for that matter.
read in full…
Let me tell you a little secret about the plan to parcel you out in small groups and isolate you in Iraqi units. This was tried in Vietnam with disastrous results, with adjectives like suicidal. And that was before we had really gotten serious about killing people over there. How can you tell who the enemy is? Do you speak the Iraqi language and understand the culture? That friendly Iraqi kid or little girl in a burka may be taking reams of mental notes about your unit strength, equipment, and movement patterns to relay to their big brothers with the IEDs, RPGs and AKs. They may even be humping bags of ammo or ordnance and running commo for insurgents.
Count your fingers for the number of new insurgents every dead civilian creates. Rape a girl and murder her family to cover it up, and you'll need a computer. Don't forget to factor in the damage from 50,000 armed-to-the-teeth mercenaries, many of whom not only don't speak Iraqi, they don't even speak English. Always remember that none of these people invited you there to blow their country apart. Imagine how you'd feel if some friendly invaders and a bunch of their salaried thugs had wasted New York City and killed the entire population.
I can tell you from experience that it's impossible to win any kind of guerilla war without the support of the population and while soldiering from a defensive position. Have your missions turned from search and clear to search and avoid like ours did? Do you have a mentality of "the day is yours, the night is theirs"? If that's true, the situation has disintegrated into a war of attrition and you've lost.
Put aside from the moral conundrum of nuking a non-nuke country that has signed the non-proliferation treaty to keep that country from maybe getting nukes of its own, and all on behalf of another country that already has hundreds of nukes and refuses to sign any such treaties. An attack on Iran means you will be trapped between a rock and a hard place. Make no mistake: the real reason for the "surge" into Bagdad is to reinforce security around the laptop warriors and bureaucrats in the Green Zone. You'll find yourselves in the curious position of playing bodyguard for the hired guns. How ironic will that be?
read in full…
As Glenn Greenwald points out, the NY Times has apparently regressed to pre-Iraq stenographer mode when it comes to reportage about Iran. Witness today's front page headline:
Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says
It is painfully clear that any headline asserting that the "U.S. Says" anything at all should be greeted with a very healthy dose of skepticism.
It was none other than the Times that treated us to these pre-Iraq war beauties:
U.S. Says Iraq Retools Rockets For Illicit Uses (March 10, 2003, Cushman & Weisman)
U.S. Says Iraqi Indicated Atom Project Is Continuing (December 10, 2002, Sanger)
Michael Gordon, the reporter whose story ran today, co-authored this gem with Judith Miller on Sept. 8, 2002:
Many such stories refer to "administration officials," "military officers," "intelligence sources" or "intelligence officials." Anonymity was often granted because the matter was classified or the source was not authorized to discuss it. (Of course, one might argue the source needs anonymity because the bullshit s/he's peddling is a flat-out lie and s/he doesn't want to get caught in it, but that's another story.)
That the Times would once again allow itself to fall into megaphone mode for this administration is, in a word, appalling.
Left I on the News: HARD(LY) EVIDENCE
The headline is unequivocal:
Gates: Bombs tie Iran to Iraq extremists
The article...not so much:
One intelligence official said the U.S. is "fairly comfortable" it knows where the explosives came from.
Gates told reporters that markings on explosives provide "pretty good" evidence that Iranians are supplying either weapons or technology for Iraqi extremists.
"I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found" that point to Iran, [Gates] said.
It's gotten so bad even the Associated Press is willing to point out the obvious:
Gates' remarks left unclear how the U.S. knows the serial numbers are traceable to Iran and whether such weapons would have been sent to Iraq by the Iranian government or by private arms dealers.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The recent massacre in Najaf suggests that the US has a brilliant way to deal with this [violence in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq]: bomb their targets from a great height, then send in the cavalry to scoop up the dead and cart the survivors off to a torture camp." -- from "Occupiers move against Sadr" (see above) at Lenin's Tomb


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