27 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: Joint police action ‘punches big hole’ in Isis propaganda ability

Computer servers seized in two-day operation in Europe, US and Canada to prevent radicalisation

Law enforcement authorities have “punched a big hole” in Islamic State’s propaganda machine, targeting news agencies and radio stations used by the jihadi group to radicalise people across the world.

Islamic State (Isis) computer servers in the Netherlands, Canada and US, as well as digital evidence in Bulgaria, France and Romania, have been seized in a two-day takedown operation co-ordinated by Europol.

UK authorities took part in the operation, dealing with top-level domain registrars – companies that register websites – abused by Isis.

The action targeted Isis-branded media outlets such as Amaq and Nashir news agencies and al-Bayan radio, hitting the extremist organisation’s ability to broadcast and publicise terrorist material.

Rob Wainwright, executive director of Europol, said: “With this groundbreaking operation we have punched a big hole in the capability of IS to spread propaganda online and radicalise young people in Europe.”

The data captured as part of the operation will help to identify the administrators behind Isis media outlets and potentially radicalised individuals, Europol said.

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REU: Three U.S. senators move to block F-35 transfers to Turkey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three U.S. senators introduced a measure on Thursday aimed at blocking the transfer of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey, a NATO ally and one of nine partner nations involved in producing the high-tech, radar-evading aircraft.

The bill, by Republicans James Lankford and Thom Tillis, and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, comes at a time of deteriorating relations between the United States and Turkey, which supported the fight against Islamic State but has become increasingly worried about U.S. backing for Kurdish fighters in north Syria.

The three senators, in introducing the bill, issued a statement expressing concern that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had embarked on a “path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law.”

“Turkey’s strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, U.S. interests. These factors make the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan’s regime increasingly risky,” Lankford said in the statement.

The Turkish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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GUARD: The Syria paradox: America drops bombs but ‘turns its back’ on refugees

Critics say US strikes against Assad ring hollow as resettlement of refugees from war-torn country drops 99% from 2017

A young Syrian is evacuated from Eastern Ghouta. The US has accepted just 44 Syrian refugees in the past six months.

A young Syrian is evacuated from Eastern Ghouta. The US has accepted just 44 Syrian refugees in the past six months. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Donald Trump declared “mission accomplished” after the US led airstrikes on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma which killed 42 people.

His administration was immediately criticized for its reluctance to accept people fleeing the war-torn country: in the past six months, the US has accepted 44 Syrian refugees – just two more than died in the Douma gas attack.

This week, Trump’s travel ban was back in the supreme court, as the legal battle continues to rage around his most high-profile effort to curb migration. But behind the scenes, a slew of other measures has already slashed refugee resettlement to the US.

“The administration has turned its back on the country’s historical practice of welcoming and resettling refugees in this country,” said Jennifer Sime, senior vice-president of US Programs at the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

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GUARD: ‘Obscene masquerade’: Russia criticised over Douma chemical attack denial

Witnesses taken to The Hague to say no attack took place in Damascus suburb on 7 April

Russia has been accused of carrying out an “obscene masquerade” for transporting 17 Syrian people to Europe to assert that no chemical weapons attack occurred in the town of Douma earlier this month.

The supposed witnesses were unveiled by Russia at the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague in an attempt to discredit western claims that Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime mounted the chemical attack on 7 April.

The US, UK and France launched a cruise missile strike at three alleged Syrian chemical weapons sites in retaliation for the Douma attack, bringing relations between the west and Russia to its worst point since the height of the cold war.

At an hour-long briefing on Thursday, a succession of Douma residents, including medical staff from the town’s only hospital, insisted there was no chemical attack, but that some people in a state of near hysteria had mistaken breathing difficulties caused by smoke as being caused by a chemical weapons attack.

Surrounded by Syrian and Russian officials, the doctors and paramedics in the group largely suggested that victims arriving at the hospital claiming to have suffered a chemical attack had, after checks, emerged to have suffered no such thing.

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REU: Mattis expects ‘re-energized’ effort against Islamic State in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday that he expected a “re-energized” effort against Islamic State militants in eastern Syria in the coming days.

“You’ll see a re-energized effort against the middle Euphrates River Valley in the days ahead and against the rest of the geographic caliphate,” Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, referring to territory held by the group.

U.S. airstrikes, troops and U.S.-backed Syrian militias have dealt heavy blows to Islamic State in Syria but the group still holds some areas and is widely expected to revert to guerrilla tactics if the last remnants of its once self-styled “caliphate” are captured.

U.S. officials have said that in recent days they have seen fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria dominated by the Kurdish YPG, returning to the middle Euphrates River Valley to fight against Islamic State.

A Turkish offensive in Afrin against the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as an extension of a Kurdish insurgency at home, led to an “operational pause” in the fight against Islamic State in eastern Syria in March.

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NYT: Like a Schindler for Iraq, This Unlikely War Hero Freed Women From ISIS

Women and children captured by ISIS. Credit Courtesy of Dunya Mikhail and New Directions

War memoirs tend to be written by soldiers; civilian voices are seldom heard. “The Beekeeper,” by the Iraqi-American poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, is a rare and powerful exception.

In 2014, ISIS swept into parts of northern Iraq where the ethnically Kurdish Yazidi people have lived alongside the Muslim majority for centuries. The invading army forced the Yazidi men into open pits and shot them, and took thousands of women and children captive. Elderly women were sometimes buried alive.

Through interviews with those who managed to escape, Mikhail has created a searing portrait of courage, humanity and savagery, told in a mosaic of voices. We learn of the slave markets where women are bought and sold, and of the online auction sites where they are listed simply as “Girl #1” or “Girl #2.” Fetching anywhere from a dollar to $500, they are raped, “rented” and used as forced labor. For ISIS fighters (referred to here as Daesh), such are the spoils of war.

Linking their stories is a Yazidi Schindler named Abdullah, a beekeeper who has made it his mission to rescue the enslaved women after many of his family members were taken, including his sister. “Every day that I save a captive woman I save her, too,” he tells Mikhail. Using his extensive contacts and knowledge of roads throughout Iraq and Syria, he organizes a “hive” of smugglers of both sexes to engineer cunning rescue operations. There are many such heroes in these varied accounts, not least the women themselves, and details so astounding that it was wise of the author to include photographs bearing witness to their truth.

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AP: Afghan officials: Taliban attack kills at least 7 soldiers

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban attack on an Afghan army security post in the country’s northern Kunduz province has killed at least seven soldiers, a defense spokesman said Thursday.

Mohammad Radmanish, the deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said the attack took place on Wednesday night in the remote Dashti Archi district in Kunduz.

A gunbattle lasted several hours and along with the seven killed, one soldier was wounded, Radmanish said. He added that 15 Taliban fighters were also killed and 13 were wounded.

However, a local hospital chief, Rahimbakesh Danish Karimi, gave a higher casualty toll for the military, saying bodies of 13 soldiers and nine wounded in the attack were brought to his hospital in Thakhar province, which is the closest medical facility to the attack site.

The conflicting casualty reports could not immediately be reconciled as is common in the aftermath of such attacks. No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the officials blamed the Taliban.

Earlier Thursday, the Taliban ambushed an Afghan government convoy in the country’s eastern province of Logar, killing the deputy provincial governor and his two bodyguards, an official said.

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NYT: Tense Russia Ties, Afghan Peace Hopes Top NATO Agenda

BRUSSELS — NATO will hold its last major meeting in its old headquarters on Friday, with talks focused on strained ties with Russia, a fresh peace effort in Afghanistan and a new training mission for Iraq.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the allies are trying to arrange a meeting with Moscow’s envoy before U.S. President Donald Trump joins his NATO counterparts in Brussels for a summit in July.

The NATO-Russia Council has not convened this year and the March 4 poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain plus the chemical attack in Syria that has been blamed on Moscow ally Syrian President Bashar Assad underline the need for more talks, he said.

“We continue to see attempts to intimidate and interfere in allied countries,” Stoltenberg told reporters Thursday on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “When tensions are high, it is even more important to talk with Russia.”

The ministers, holding their 70th and final meeting before moving across the road to NATO’s new, sprawling billion-dollar premises, will also discuss Georgia and Ukraine’s aspirations to join the world’s biggest military alliance.

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Ghani issues new order to ANDSF after the attack on Logar deputy governor

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has issued a new order to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to eliminate terrorists after an ambush left the deputy provincial governor of Logar province dead. The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said President Ghani strongly condemned the attack on deputy governor of Logar Qamaruddin Shakib. President

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ISIS Taliban militant suffer casualties in Nangarhar drone strike

The US forces based in Afghanistan carried out airstrikes on Taliban and ISIS hideouts in Nangarhar province using the unmanned aerial vehicles, the military and police officials said. The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said at least three Taliban insurgents were killed in the drone strike in Kkochiano area in .

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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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