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17 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

REU: U.S. senators offer legislation covering military action against militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators announced long-awaited legislation on Monday to provide congressional authorization for U.S. campaigns against militant groups in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, part of a push to take back authority over the military from the White House.

A group of senators led by U.S. Senators Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Tim Kaine, a committee Democrat, proposed an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that would authorize “all necessary and appropriate force” against al Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic State and associated forces.

It does not authorize military action against any nation state, including Syria.

The new AUMF also does not set an end date for any military action, although it would establish a process for Congress to review the new AUMF every four years, without risking a lapse in the authorization.

Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have long argued that they ceded too much authority over the military to both Republican and Democrat presidents after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

They now are trying to rein in some of that power by approving a new AUMF.

Under the constitution, only Congress, not the president, has the right to authorize war. But presidents have used AUMFs passed in 2001 for the fight against al Qaeda and affiliates, and one passed in 2002 for the war in Iraq, to justify a wide range of conflicts since, prompting many lawmakers to say a new AUMF is long overdue.

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NYT: Theresa May Earns Cold Reception in U.K. Parliament Over Syria Attacks

LONDON — After ordering British forces into action in Syria, Prime Minister Theresa May faced criticism from lawmakers on Monday, with many of them seeming to resent being bypassed over the decision, more than the strikes themselves.

Speaking in Parliament, Mrs. May argued that the “limited, targeted and effective” attack had sent a vital signal that the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated by the international community.

But the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong critic of Western military intervention, questioned the justification of the strikes under international law, telling Mrs. May that she was accountable to Parliament and “not to the whims of the U.S. president.”

Several senior members of Mr. Corbyn’s party supported the principle of intervention over Syria, however, underscoring the divisions between many Labour lawmakers and their leader on several issues, including foreign policy.

With the missiles already having been delivered there was a limit to what Britain’s Parliament could do about a decision that was taken while lawmakers were on their Easter vacation.

But by making their voices heard, members of Parliament made clear the potential political risks to Mrs. May, who does not have a clear parliamentary majority, were she to repeat military action without consultation with lawmakers.

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REU: In Damascus’s ravaged farm belt, Douma’s residents jostle for loaves

DOUMA, Syria (Reuters) – It used to provide fresh food for the Syrian capital; now its hungry people are queuing for bread handouts from a truck.

 

People hold stacks of bread at the city of Douma, Damascus, Syria April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

For over a week now, Syrian government flags have flown over Douma, the biggest town in the agricultural eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, since rebels there surrendered after five years of siege.

They said an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which prompted Western air strikes on Saturday, had driven them to give up – although he says there was no such attack.

International chemical weapons inspectors had not been able to visit Douma by Monday evening, with Britain saying Syria and Russia had been unable to guarantee their safety, though Russia blamed the delay on Saturday’s Western airstrikes.

However, a tour of Douma organized for media by the government showed security forces standing on street corners near leftover rebel graffiti, and Russian military police patrolling the streets.

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NYT: After U.S. Strikes, Syria Returns to War as Usual

BEIRUT, Lebanon — As the dust settles from missile strikes launched by the United States and its allies against Syria over the weekend, very little has changed for most Syrians who have spent years suffering through their country’s civil war.

In Damascus, hundreds demonstrated in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whose grip remained unchallenged. In Raqqa, which was recently liberated from the Islamic State, teams defused mines the jihadists had strewn across the destroyed city. Thousands of people from Douma, the site of the reported chemical attack that prompted the American strikes, looked for shelter after joining the millions of other Syrians who have been displaced from their homes.

And on the front lines separating hostile parties throughout the country, fighting continued as it has for years.

Now that the dust has settled from the American strikes, with President Trump declaring “mission accomplished,” Russia logging complaints and Mr. Assad returning to work, how does Syria move forward?

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GUARD: Syria: Russia says inspectors will be allowed into Douma

Inspectors due to visit site on Wednesday but US says Russians have already been there with possible intent to thwart fact-finding mission

Russian military police officers check a weapons factory reportedly left behind by rebels in the Syrian town of Douma, the site of a chemical weapons attack that prompted US-led air strikes

Russian military police officers check a weapons factory reportedly left behind by rebels in the Syrian town of Douma, the site of a chemical weapons attack that prompted US-led air strikes Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP

Chemical weapons experts will arrive in Douma on Wednesday to investigate an alleged poison gas attack, Russia said, as the US voiced fears Moscow may already have “tampered with” evidence at the site.

Russia and the Syrian regime have been accused by western diplomats of denying chemical weapons inspectors access to sites in the town of Douma, where an attack killed dozens and prompted US-led missile strikes over the weekend.

Russia and Syria had cited “pending security issues” before inspectors could deploy to the town outside Damascus, said Ahmet Üzümcü, the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), at a meeting of its executive council on Monday.

Syrian authorities were offering 22 people to interview as witnesses instead, he said, adding that he hoped “all necessary arrangements will be made … to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible”.

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GUARD: ‘Tonight I’m going to die’: the Iraqi women targeted by rapists

Amnesty reports that women suspected of Isis links face sexual violence in IDP camps, amid claims they are being denied aid

Iraqi women suspected of family links to Islamic State extremists are facing a campaign of sexual violence and exploitation in displacement camps inside the country, according to a hard-hitting report from Amnesty International.

The accounts of violence, including rape, come amid claims that authorities are also denying aid to the women, as well as refusing them the opportunity to return to their homes.

Researchers who visited eight camps for internally displaced Iraqis found that sexual exploitation was occurring in all eight.

Based on interviews with 92 women, the Amnesty report highlights the plight of thousands of female-headed families left to fend for themselves after their male relatives men were killed, arrested or forcibly disappeared while fleeing areas around Mosul.

In many cases, the men’s only “crime” detailed in the report was escaping an Isis stronghold, or having a similar name to those on questionable “wanted lists”, or working in non-combat roles, such as cooks or drivers.

The most serious allegations contained in the report relate to rape.

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IraqiNews: Seven people killed, injured in Islamic State attack against police station in Salahuddin

Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) One of the people wounded in the attack against a police station, south of Samarra, Salahuddin province, has succumbed to death, making the total death toll rise to four victims, a security source said on Monday.

Speaking to Baghdad Today website, the source said, “one of the security personnel wounded during the attack by Islamic State members against Dalf police station in al-Abbassi region, south of Samarra, succumbed to death, following several attempts to rescue him.”

“The death toll went up reaching four victims, in addition to three wounded people,” the source added.

Earlier today, the source said the attack was carried out by a suicide attacker, wearing suicide belt, and was followed by an armed attack against the police station.

A total of 104 Iraqi civilians and policemen were killed, while 177 others were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in March, according to casualty figures by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

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IraqiNews: Over 20 Islamic State members killed in operations, west of Mosul: Commander

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) The Nineveh Operations Command has announced killing more that 20 Islamic State members, purging all the border regions, in the wake of infiltration of some militants into the province.

In remarks on Monday, Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jabouri, the commander, said troops “started purging the border regions, west of Nineveh. All the towns there were surrounded. Names of the residents were checked.”

“Security troops managed on Sunday to kill 22 IS members after setting an ambush for them. Information showed they were infiltrating through borders, west of Mosul. All were killed immediately. Their weapons were confiscated,” he added.

Earlier this month, news reports quoted sources as saying that over 20 IS members were arrested in several security operations carried out in west of Mosul.

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NYT: Afghan Official: Gunmen Attack Vehicle, Kill 6 Civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says at least six civilians were shot and killed by gunmen in western Ghor province.

Iqbal Nezami, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said that four other civilians were wounded after their vehicle was attacked near Faroz Koh, the provincial capital, on Tuesday morning.

The victims were all ethnic Hazaras, a Shiite minority in Afghanistan that is frequently targeted by Sunni extremists in different parts of the country.

Nezami says the Hazaras were on traveling from Herat, another western province, to Ghor when they came under attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Taliban member makes chilling confessions after his arrest in Nangarhar

By Khaama Press on 17 Apr 2018 12:40pm

A Taliban group member has made chilling confessions regarding the destructive activities he was involved in as well as his background. The provincial government media office in Nangarhar in a statement said the detained Taliban group member has been identified as Habib Jan and was arrested from the 6th police district of Jalalabad city. T

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Afghan forces arrest Amar bil Maruf leader of ISIS in Nangarhar

By Khaama Press on 17 Apr 2018 11:42am

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) personnel have arrested a senior ISIS leader who is believed to be in charge of Amar bil Maruf section of the terror. The group, similar as other militant and terrorist groups, implements its own strict version of Islam through Amar bil Maruf. Security sources in Nangahrar say

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Afghan forces block Taliban’s major supply route along Durand Line

By Khaama Press on 17 Apr 2018 10:16am

The Afghan forces blocked one of the major supply routes of the Taliban group during an operation along the Durand Line. The provincial government in Paktia said the route between Kurram Agency and Dand-e-Pathan district in Paktia province was blocked during an operation of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. According to a official

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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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