15 Apr

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The War Criminals

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry. (A year ago Mr. Bush was on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” dancing and talking about his paintings.)

The war criminals, Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Powell who sold us the war still go on doing what they do.


We condemned children to death, some after many days of writhing in pain on bloodstained mats, without pain relievers. Some died quickly, wasted by missing arms and legs, crushed heads. As the fluids ran out of their bodies, they appeared like withered, spoiled fruits. They could have lived, certainly should have lived – and laughed and danced, and run and played- but instead they were brutally murdered. Yes, murdered!

The war ended for those children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

The McGlynn

War News

NYT: Opinion Will the Next Superbug Come From Yemen?

Smoke rose from a community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sana, Yemen’s capital.CreditKhaled Abdullah/Reuters

It was two days after the young Yemeni man was released from surgery that the doctors first noticed the smell. The bullet that wounded the leg of the 22-year-old college student had shattered bone and torn a hole in the soft tissue. Now, the wound was emitting a distinct smell, described in the medical literature as “offensive.” It strongly suggested infection, perhaps life-threatening, and the wound was not getting better.

Realizing that normal antibiotics were not working, the doctors at a trauma center run by Doctors Without Borders sent a blood culture for analysis to their new microbiology lab, the only one of its kind in the region. The tests found a bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii, resistant to most standard antibiotics. Nobody knows how the student — who was identified using his initials, A. S., to preserve his privacy — acquired the drug-resistant infection, but it is so common in Yemen that it could have come from the bullet itself or the sand on the ground when he fell, said Dr. Nagwan Mansoor, the chief physician in Doctors Without Borders’s antibiotic stewardship program………It’s happening now in Yemen. The conflict is taking on aspects of warfare once found only in history books, when the real toll of a military campaign is not the immediate damage from weapons, but the long-term and far greater impact of disease that spread in the chaos of armed conflict. “It’s a huge burden on the health system that can barely take care of primary health care,” said Ana Leticia Nery, the medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, which has long been the poorest country in the Middle East. More than 60 percent of the patients admitted to the medical organization’s hospital in Aden have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their systems………..Diseases from the 19th century have re-emerged in force. Yemen faces the fastest-growing cholera outbreak ever recorded, with more than one million people affected, a quarter of them small children. Diphtheria has emerged as well.

Doctors Without Borders, which has been in Yemen since 1986, appears to be the only relief agency tracking drug resistance in the area, and last year it set up its dedicated microbiology lab. Other medical-relief agencies I contacted said that they were too busy to be following the issue.

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BBC: Syria air strikes: 12 hours in two minutes

How the US, UK and France attack on suspected chemical weapons facilities unfolded.

How the US, UK and France attack on suspected chemical weapons facilities unfolded.

AP: Western airstrikes unlikely to impact Assad’s war machine

BEIRUT (AP) — The Western airstrikes targeting suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities might have rained down punishment from the sky, but they will not fundamentally degrade a war machine whose main bases, weaponry and personnel remain in place.

As a symbol, they might reflect the inability to prevent President Bashar Assad from marching toward a professed victory in the civil war — still denying he ever even used banned substances, and perhaps not even needing them.

Any opposition expectations that the airstrikes might try to destroy or degrade Assad’s lethal air power or target bases where his warplanes and helicopters begin their bombing missions were quickly dashed: The U.S., British and French precision attacks only singled out Assad’s alleged chemical weapons capabilities.

The Pentagon said the strikes targeted three facilities — a scientific research center in the Damascus area, allegedly linked to the production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology; a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs; and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and key command post, also west of Homs.

“If this is it, Assad should be relieved,” Randa Slim, an expert with the Washington-based Middle East Institute, wrote on Twitter.

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GUARD: Syria crisis: danger awaits in rush for influence on crowded battlefield

It’s debatable when the world last found itself in such a perilous situation – and there are disturbing echoes of the eve of the first world war

Syrian soldiers inspect the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

As UN secretary general, it is António Guterres’s increasingly frequent duty to warn the major powers they are rushing towards catastrophe. On Friday, on the eve of the US-led airstrikes, it was the former Portuguese prime minister’s turn once again to raise the alarm at the latest of a series of deadlocked security council sessions on Syria.

“The cold war is back with a vengeance and a difference,” Guterres said. The difference is that it is no longer cold. American troops are already a grenade’s toss away from Russians and Iranians in Syria, and this weekend, missiles and planes from the US, UK and France flew at the Syrian regime.

“The mechanisms and safeguards that existed to prevent escalation in the past no longer seem to be present,” the secretary general said. It is debatable exactly when the world last found itself in such a perilous situation. Perhaps the 1983 missile standoff in Europe, when a Nato exercise, Able Archer, almost triggered a panicked nuclear launch by the Soviet Union……………….Russia may wish to absent itself from that struggle, but with so much military hardware flying around in such a confined space, the potential for accident and miscalculation rises steadily.

As the Russia investigation closes in on Trump, his deference to Vladimir Putin appears, for now, to have soured into personal hostility, fuelled by his sense of betrayal that Moscow has not kept Assad in check. It was Russia Trump warned to “get ready” for incoming missiles after the Douma chemical weapons attack, and Russia he warned would pay a “big price” for betting on Assad.

If an unforeseen and unplanned clash takes place, the commander-in-chief’s state of mind is critically important.

The absence of any check in the nuclear launch protocol that would allow any other US official to countermand a direct presidential order remains arguably the world’s scariest fact.

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REU: In Syria strikes, U.S. blurs red line for intervention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the latest U.S. missile strikes, President Donald Trump appears to have reset America’s red line for military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

What’s unclear is where that red line now stands.

The United States said its strikes were a response to President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on April 7 that administration officials say employed chlorine and perhaps even sarin, a more deadly nerve agent.

“A large body of information indicates that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council on Saturday.

Sarin had previously appeared to be the threshold for intervention. A sarin attack triggered Trump’s decision last year to strike a Syrian air base. A sarin attack in 2013 was also what nearly brought then-President Barack Obama to strike Syria.

Chlorine, in contrast, has been used more widely in Syria’s conflict without past U.S. reprisals, and the chemical itself is far easier to find and weaponize, experts say. That makes degrading it through military strikes far more difficult.

“Every city in the Middle East that has a water purification system probably has some chlorine. It is a common industrial chemical,” said Daryl Kimball at the Washington-based Arms Control Association, who favors broad action to deter use of chemical weapons, including chlorine.

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REU: Russia fails in U.N. bid to condemn U.S.-led strikes on Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A Russian bid for the United Nations Security Council to condemn U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack failed on Saturday after only China and Bolivia joined Russia to vote in favor of a draft resolution.

The 15-member council met on Saturday, at Russia’s request, the fifth time it has met on Syria since a suspected deadly poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma a week ago. The United States, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting Syria’s chemical weapons program.

“Why didn’t you wait for the outcome of the investigation you called for?” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said after the vote. He accused the United States, France and Britain of “demonstrating a blatant disregard for international law.”

“I hope hot heads will cool down and that will be it,” he told reporters.

International investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and were due to start their inquiry on Saturday into the suspected toxic gas attack. Russia and Syria have said there was no evidence of a chemical weapons attack.

The United States, France and Britain defended their military action as legal during the Security Council meeting.

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REU: Germany says will push for new international effort to end war in Syria

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will join France to push for a new international effort to achieve a lasting ceasefire in Syria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday, criticizing Russia for repeatedly blocking U.N. Security Council action on the war.

Officials from Germany, France, Britain and the United States will meet in London on Sunday to discuss the next steps following coordinated Western air strikes against Syria early on Saturday, he said.

He said the initiative was also being discussed by the NATO council that met in Brussels on Saturday, and European Union foreign ministers would debate further concrete measures to address the crisis in Syria on Monday.

“We will work together with France for the creation of an international format of influential states that can provide new momentum for the political process,” said Maas, a member of the Social Democrats, junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-left coalition government.

Germany did not participate in the air strikes, but backed them as a “necessary and appropriate” action to warn Syria against further use of chemical weapons, Merkel said on Saturday.

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REU: France warns of humanitarian disaster in Syrian city Idlib

PARIS (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned of a humanitarian disaster in the rebel-controlled Syrian city of Idlib, which could be a next target of the Syrian army.


FILE PHOTO – People inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel-held city of Idlib, Syria February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

The northwestern Idlib region remains the largest populated area of Syria in the hands of insurgents fighting the Damascus government. In recent years, tens of thousands of fighters and civilians have fled there from parts of the country which the army has recaptured with the help of Russia and Iran.

Le Drian said Idlib now has some 2 million inhabitants, including hundreds of thousands of Syrians evacuated from rebel-held cities taken back by the Syrian regime.

“There is a risk of a new humanitarian disaster. Idlib’s fate must be settled by a political process, which includes disarming the militias,” Le Drian said in an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.

Some insurgent officials have said they feared an onslaught against Idlib, which a senior Iranian official has indicated could be the next target.

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NYT: Afghan, Pakistani Forces Clash Near Disputed Border

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says Pakistani forces have crossed into eastern Afghanistan and clashed with Afghan troops.

Col. Abdul Hanan, the acting provincial police chief in the eastern Khost province, says the fighting broke out early Sunday and is still underway. He was not immediately able to confirm reports of casualties.

The two countries are separated by the 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) Durand Line, which was drawn by British rulers in 1896. Kabul does not recognize it as an international border and has objected to new fortifications being built by Pakistan.

The two U.S. allies routinely accuse each other of failing to crack down on militants who operate along the porous border.

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NYT: Insurgents Attack Checkpoint in Afghanistan, Killing 11

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 11 Afghan paramilitary forces were killed when the Taliban attacked their checkpoint, an official said Sunday.

Zabi Amani, a spokesman for the governor of the northern Sari Pul province, said two other forces were wounded in the attack late Saturday. He said three insurgents were killed, including a local commander, and four others were wounded.

Those targeted were members of the Local Uprising Forces, militias supported by the government.

No one immediately claimed the attack, but Amani blamed the Taliban, who are active in the area.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, insurgents attacked two security checkpoints in the eastern Ghazni province, killing four police and wounding five others, according to Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said the Taliban opened fire on the checkpoints and then targeted reinforcements with a roadside bomb.

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NYT: Officials: 4 Kids, 2 Police Killed in Afghan Attacks

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says that at least four young children have been killed after a rocket fired by an insurgent hit their house in southern Helmand province.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor in Helmand, said Saturday that another child was wounded in late Friday night’s attack in Nad Ali district.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban insurgents are active and in control of most of Helmand districts.

In a separate report, at least two police officers were killed after insurgents attacked their check point in western Farah province, said Mohammad Naser Mehri, spokesman for the provincial governor in Farah.

Two other policemen were wounded in the attack place Friday night near Farah city, the capital of the province, Mehri said.

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20 ISIS militants killed in joint Afghan and US forces raids: MoD

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says at least twenty ISIS militants have been killed during the joint raids of the Afghan and US forces in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan. MoD spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish told reporters a commander of the terror group identified as Yousuf was among those killed. This comes as the 209th

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Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, died March 30 in Manbij, Syria as a result of injuries when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol. The incident is under investigation. Dunbar was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft Bragg, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of seven airmen who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. They died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

Captain Andreas B. O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.

Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.Sgt. 1st Class Maitland Deweever Wilson, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, died March 7 in Landstuhl, Germany from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.Wilson was assigned to the 831st Transportation Battalion, 595th Transportation Brigade, Manama, Bahrain.

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD ProgramLocator to find a PTSD program.If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

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