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24 Apr

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

The War Criminals

Rage Against The Dying

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

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

Guard; Opinion When it comes to foreign policy, Congress must rein Trump in

The president’s foreign policy is deeply dangerous. Congress must provide adult supervision to keep the US safe

In 2017, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee Bob Corker called the White House an “adult day care center” because of the immature behavior of President Donald Trump. With the risks of conflict around the world rising, it’s time for Congress to step up and provide adult supervision for the White House to keep the US safe.

It is an understatement to say that Trump’s foreign policy so far has been erratic and deeply dangerous. Trump appears intent to rip up the diplomatic deal preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He has threatened war with nuclear North Korea. He has attempted to ban refugees and Muslims from coming to the US. He has embraced the authoritarian leaders of Russia and China as friends. The list goes on.

And yet, the US president has extensive power to craft and implement foreign policy. The constitution provides the president with tremendous authority, but the decades-long atrophy of Congress’s role as a coequal branch in executing US foreign policy has ceded even more power to the president. The president now has the ability to start wars anywhere in the world, and to use nuclear weapons on a moment’s notice.

As historian Arthur Schlesinger wrote in his classic, The Imperial Presidency: “What began as emergency powers temporarily confided to presidents soon hardened into authority claimed by presidents as constitutionally inherent in the presidential office: thus the imperial presidency.”

There is a robust, long-standing debate about the balance between legislative and executive branch powers on foreign policy. After Schlesinger first wrote about the imperial presidency, Congress attempted to re-establish its authority through the War Powers Act, imposing a number of requirements on the president’s ability to send troops into battle.

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UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned on Monday air strikes on a wedding party in Yemen that killed at least 50 civilians, his spokesman said.

Air strikes by a Saudi-led military coalition killed at least 20 people attending a wedding in a village in northwestern Yemen late on Sunday, residents and medical sources said.

“The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts. He calls for a prompt, effective and transparent investigation,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

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REU: Egypt denies Sinai battle choking off food, medicine supplies

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian military campaign to defeat Islamic State militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula is choking essential food and medical supplies to thousands of residents in the desert region, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The army denied the charge.

The New York-based organization warned of a wider humanitarian crisis if North Sinai continued to be cut off from the Egyptian mainland, saying the army’s actions “border on collective punishment”.

The army launched an operation in February to crush jihadists who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers, police and residents over many years.

Air strikes and raids have killed scores of suspected militants since then, the military says, as it imposes curfews and tight movement restrictions around towns in North Sinai. The army has said it is winning the battle.

A military spokesman denied there were shortages, saying it was providing food and medical support throughout the areas it operated in, The HRW report had used “undocumented sources” in its report, he said.

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REU: Syrian government plans to retake north Homs from rebels next: minister

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – The Syrian government plans to recover an opposition-held pocket north of Homs city soon after it completes surrender deals with armed groups around the capital Damascus, a Syrian government minister said on Tuesday.

 

People walk in a street during a media tour in Douma near Damascus, Syria April 23, 2018. REUTERS/ Ali Hashisho

Having taken back the largest rebel-held area near Damascus, eastern Ghouta, in early April, the Syrian army and allied forces are close to recovering the remaining few pockets around the capital.

Pro-government forces are bombarding a jihadist enclave in south Damascus where Islamic State holds a pocket next to one held by rebel factions.

In recent days rebels in two other enclaves northeast of Damascus, Dumair and east Qalamoun, surrendered and agreed to be transferred by bus to opposition territory in northern Syria.

The Syrian army and its allies have for years employed siege and bombardment tactics to force rebels to surrender their enclaves and agree to be transferred to opposition territory in northern Syria.

Ali Haidar, the Syrian minister responsible for national reconciliation, told Reuters in an interview the government would focus on recovering an opposition-held pocket north of the city of Homs after securing the areas around Damascus.

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NYT: After Each Attack He Carried the Wounded. Then He Became a Victim.

 

Wakil Hussain Allahdad carrying a wounded girl after an attack by gunmen at a shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2016. He was killed in an attack on Sunday. Credit Rohullah Amin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

KABUL, Afghanistan — He was a retired, medal-winning wrestler, often one of the first to arrive after a suicide bombing to help evacuate the wounded on the shoulders of his muscular frame.

On Sunday those shoulders were needed again when a suicide bomber killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 120, including children, outside a Kabul voter-registration office. But the wrestler, Wakil Hussain Allahdad, could not help. He was among the dead.

Mr. Allahdad’s death punctuated the cycle of loss in Afghanistan, so relentless that survivors of one attack often end up victims of the next. In the age of social media, a Facebook post offering condolences for one bombing can often turn out to be the poster’s last public words.

“Pity to the mother and father who are waiting for the return of their children back home,” Mr. Allahdad, the father of two boys and two girls, posted after an attack last June. “I hope these miseries will end, because this nation doesn’t have the capacity for more bloody tragedies like this.”

When the bomber struck, Mr. Allahdad, 33, had been visiting a shop he had set up across from the office, where three apprentices would photocopy documents for a small fee. Two of the apprentices also were killed, and the third was battling for his life on Monday at a hospital……………..While the violence has turned life in Kabul into a game of chance, more recently the odds have been worse for Shiites like Mr. Allahdad.

“He was just a poor man’s son trying to earn bread for his children,” said Mr. Allahdad’s father, second from right. Credit Mujib Mashal/The New York Times

His home is on a busy road in a western Kabul neighborhood. Almost every street pole is adorned with a photograph of an attack victim.

“He was just a poor man’s son trying to earn bread for his children,” said his elderly father, Hussain Ali Allahdad, wiping his tears with a white kerchief.

As visitors arrived on Monday morning to pay their respects, someone would recite another verse of the Quran before hands were raised in prayer. The father would lean back against the wall and close his eyes.

Many visitors apologized for having shown up so late, busy with other funerals and burials. One had a cousin killed in the bombing, another had a brother-in-law, a third had a neighbor.

The visitors tried to console the father by emphasizing that in the eyes of the Shiite community, his son was a martyr who had sacrificed his life for a noble cause.

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NYT: Afghan Officials: Taliban Attacks Kill 11 Troops, Policemen

KABUL, Afghanistan — A new wave of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan killed at least 11 Afghan soldiers and policemen on Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a particularly deadly week of assaults by militants.

At least five soldiers were killed when their checkpoint was attacked by the Taliban in western Farah province, according to Mohammad Naser Mehri, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Two soldiers were wounded in that attack, in the Bala Buluk district. Mehri said six Taliban fighters were killed and three others were wounded in the battle, which lasted several hours.

“Reinforcements have arrived and right now, the situation is under control,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, insurgents killed at least four members of the local police force and wounded seven in eastern Ghazni province.

The Taliban there targeted the local police security post in the province’s district of Jaghatu, said Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor. He also said the gunbattle lasted several hours and that the Taliban used artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

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NYT: Kabul Blast Highlights Risk to Long-Delayed Afghan Vote

KABUL — Afghan officials pledged that Sunday’s deadly suicide bombing of a voter center in Kabul will not derail preparations for this year’s parliamentary elections but the attack has underlined the risks to an operation already clouded by doubt.

More than 50 people queuing to receive identity cards for the ballot were killed in the blast, by far the most serious of a series of attacks on the registration process officially launched earlier this month.

“The incident which happened yesterday has caused problems,” said Soma Ziarmal, an elections officer helping supervise a center in the capital. “But we’re urging people to come in and take part in the process to have a better future and build our country,” she said.

After repeated delays, the elections for parliament and district councils are due in October, putting officials under heavy pressure to complete the registration of 14 million voters and issue around 10 million new identity cards by the autumn to ensure credible participation levels.

So far, just over 291,000 people have been registered since the process began just over a week ago, according to Wasima Badghisi, a member of the Independent Election Commission. She said security was a concern but it was still too early to say what impact Sunday’s attack may have on registration.

“The beginning was unexpectedly slow but we’re satisfied and we hope the number of people will increase,” she said, adding that the commission had requested that government offices allow staff time off to register.

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Deadly airstrike target gathering of key militant figures in Laghman

By Khaama Press – Tue Apr 24

A deadly airstrike targeted a gathering attended by key militant figures in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan, the local officials said.

The airstrike was carried out this morning at around 10:30 local time in the vicinity of Alisheng district of Laghman province.

The officials are saying that the US unmanned aerial vehicles bombarded the gathering leaving at least three senior members of Taliban leader Saqib dead.

The officials further added that the airstrike also left at least two militants wounded.

According to the local officials, the key militants killed during the airstrike have been identified as Rauf, Shadi Gul and Kazim.

The provincial officials also added that the militants killed in the airstrike were vastly involved in major destructive and terrorist activities in this province.

In the meantime, the officials said a clearance operation was launched in Alisheng valley in a bid to clear the area from the militants.

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7 militants including ISIS members join peace process in Kunar

By Khaama Press – Tue Apr 24

A group of seven militants including members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group join peace process in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the militants renounced violence and joined peace process in Wanat Waigal district.

The source further added that the militants also handed over a PKM machine and six Ak-47 assault rifles to the Afghan forces.

Kunar is among the relatively volatile provinces in East of Afghanistan where the Taliban militants and other terrorists including ISIS members are actively operating in some of its districts.

The seven anti-government armed militants join peace process at a time when relentless groun operations and airstrikes are underway in Kunar and other parts of the country to suppress the terrorists.

In the meantime, the 201st Silab Corps said the door for peace and reconciliation will always remain open but emphasized that those opting to carry out destructive on recommendations of the foreigners will be eliminate

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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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