themcglynn.com

19 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

ALJ: Senators doubt benefit of US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Senators grill Trump administration officials, saying there’s an ‘alarming absence of strategy’ when it comes to Yemen.

US officials claim their support mitigates the humanitarian crisis in Yemen [Hani Mohammed/AP Photo/File]

US officials claim their support mitigates the humanitarian crisis in Yemen [Hani Mohammed/AP Photo/File]

US senators demanded answers from the administration of President Donald Trump on its continued support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Senators on both sides of the political spectrum accused the administration of not having a coherent strategy in Yemen as they questioned Department of State and Pentagon officials during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday.

“If your son was shooting off his pistol in the backyard and doing it indiscriminately and endangering the neighbours, would you give him more bullets or less?” Republican Senator Rand Paul asked at the hearing on Tuesday.

“Our strategy is to give [the Saudis] more bombs, not less,” he added.

Ambassador David M Satterfield, the State Department’s Middle East Envoy, told the panel that US “military support to the Saudi-led coalition supports important US national security and diplomatic objectives.

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BBC: Syria air strikes: Were they legal?

The justifications put forward by the US, UK and France for the air strikes in Syria have focused on the need to maintain the international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, to degrade President Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal and to deter further chemical attacks against civilians in Syria.

Prime Minister Theresa May argued that the UK has always stood up for the defence of global rules and standards in the national interest of the UK and of the organised international community as a whole.

However, in its formal legal defence of the operation issued some time later, the UK government rather emphasises the need to protect the population of Syria from further harm.

Legally, the claim to enforce international law on chemical weapons by violent means would return the world to the era before the advent of the UN Charter. The Charter allows states to use force in self-defence and, arguably, for the protection of populations threatened by extermination at the hands of their own government. The use of force for broader purposes of maintaining international security is also possible. However, such action is subject to the requirement of a mandate from the UN Security Council.

This arrangement tries to balance the need of states to preserve their security in the face of an actual or imminent attack through self-defence when strictly necessary with the need to ensure that force cannot be used as a routine tool of international politics. Hence, international law since 1945 precludes military strikes in retaliation – to teach other states a lesson, as it were – or by way of reprisal. Reprisals are acts that are in principle unlawful, but they can be excused because they aim to force a state back into compliance with its international obligations.

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REU: Hundreds of refugees return to Syria from Lebanon

SHEBAA, Lebanon (Reuters) – Several hundred Syrians who have lived for years as refugees in Lebanon left for their home country on Wednesday in a rare case of a mass return of those who left the country since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

 

Lebanese general security member holds Syrian refugee children, who fled to Lebanon, as they wait for buses to go back to Syria from the southern village of Shebaa, Lebanon April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

Nearly 500 people, including children and the elderly, left the Shebaa area in southeast Lebanon in 15 buses for the Beit Jinn district in Syria, southwest of Damascus, which was recaptured from rebels by pro-government forces in December. The buses reached the Lebanese border on Wednesday afternoon before crossing into Syria.

“We had no news about our hometown. My family and I are happy to be going back,” said Younes Othman, 31, who was a farmer in Syria and is returning after four years in Lebanon.

The convoy was organized by the Lebanese authorities, Lebanon’s state news agency NNA reported. The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, in a statement, said it was not involved in organizing “these returns or other returns at this point, considering the prevailing humanitarian and security situation in Syria”.

More than half of Syria’s pre-war population have fled their homes since the outbreak of war in 2011, including more than a million who sought refuge in tiny Lebanon, where they now make up more than a quarter of the population.

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AP: UN Security Council heads to retreat at odds over Syria

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is heading to a remote Swedish estate this weekend for its annual retreat with the secretary-general after one of its most contentious weeks in years that saw ambassadors accusing each other of lying about a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

Sweden’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Carl Skau, whose country is serving a two-year term on the council and is hosting the retreat, told reporters Wednesday that the meeting is taking place “at a critical time for the United Nations but also at a very difficult moment for the life of the Security Council.”

The U.N.’s most powerful body has been paralyzed in dealing with the seven-year Syrian conflict, and the six council meetings since the suspected poison gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7 have again put an almost daily spotlight on its deep divisions.

The United States, France and Britain blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad for the attack that reportedly killed at least 40 people, and they conducted airstrikes Friday on Syrian chemical sites. Russia and close ally Syria vehemently deny any involvement, while Russia accuses the Western allies of trying to tarnish its global image.

The retreat is coming on the heels of “one of our probably most divisive weeks in the council,” Skau said.

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REU: U.N. team fired upon in Syria while visiting suspected chemical sites

THE HAGUE/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A U.N. security team came under fire in Syria while doing reconnaissance for inspectors to visit sites of a suspected chemical weapons attack, and officials said it was no longer clear when the inspectors would be able to go in.

The inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are in Syria to investigate an April 7 incident in which Western countries and rescue workers say scores of civilians were gassed to death by government forces.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) had decided to carry out reconnaissance at two sites in the town of Douma before the inspectors would visit them.

“On arrival at site one, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw,” he told a meeting at the watchdog’s headquarters in remarks it later released. “At site two, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated. The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus.”

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REU: Afghans make long trek west before Turkey secures border

AGRI, Turkey (Reuters) – On a mountainous road leading west from the Iranian border, 22-year-old Sunnatilla Rasulbek trudges through heavy rain, one of tens of thousands of Afghans hoping to find work and security in Turkey before a wall goes up to keep them out.

Already 2,000 km (1,250 miles) from his home in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, Rasulbek plans to try to earn some money in eastern Turkey before heading further west to Istanbul in sarch of a job to support his family back home.

The number of Afghans arriving in Turkey tripled in the first three months of the year to 27,000, driven by conflict and poverty and fears that the route may soon be closing.

While the numbers are small compared to the 3.5 million Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey, the influx will further strain Turkish authorities, who have flown hundreds of Afghans back to Kabul and are building a wall on the border with Iran and a new detention center close to the frontier.

That has not deterred Rasulbek, walking with three other migrants on the edge of a highway in the foothills of Mount Ararat, the snow-capped peak which towers over eastern Turkey and is associated with the Bible story of Noah’s ark.

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NYT: Taliban Bombing Kills 5, Including Afghan Police Commander

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says a bomb blast has killed five people, including a police commander, in the southern Kandahar province, an attack claimed by the Taliban.

A Kandahar police spokesman says Col. Janan Mama, commander of the border rapid reaction force, three of his police bodyguards and a civilian were killed in Wednesday’s attack.

The spokesman, Zia Durrani, says the sticky bomb was placed on the commander’s vehicle in Kandahar city, the provincial capital.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a statement sent to media. The insurgent group routinely targets Afghan officials and security forces.

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ALJ: Afghan refugees describe treacherous journeys to Turkey

Turkey is experiencing a new influx of migrants, this time from Afghanistan instead of Syria.

More than 20,000 Afghans have tried to illegally enter Turkey via Iran over the past three months, adding to the 150,000 already there. And now, Turkey has stepped up efforts to send them back home.

Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu reports from eastern Turkey, where he heard stories about their treacherous journeys in search of a better life.

68 militants killed, wounded in coordinated air, ground operations: Radmanish

By Khaama Press – Wed Apr 18 2018,.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials are saying that 68 militants were killed or wounded during the coordinated air and ground operations in various provinces of the country in the past 24 hours.

MoD deputy spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish told reporters in Kabul that a total of 31 militants were killed ad 37 others were wounded during the operations.

Gen. Radmanish further added that the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Kunar, Kapisa, Paktia, Paktika, Logar, Khost, Uruzgan, Faryab, Balkh, and Helmand provinces.

He said at least 11 of the militants were killed in Nejrab district of Kapisa, 15 were killed in Moqor, Waghez, and Andar districts of Ghazni, and 5 others were killed in Sherin Tagab district of Faryab.

War Casualties By Name – Search by Name:

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Total Dollar Cost of Wars Since 2001>>

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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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