03 May

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

AP: Saudi prisoner transfer from Guantanamo is first under Trump

MIAMI (AP) — A prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center has been sent back to his native Saudi Arabia to serve out the remainder of a 13-year sentence, making him the first detainee to leave the U.S. base in Cuba since President Donald Trump took office.

The Pentagon announced the transfer of Ahmed Mohammed al-Darbi in a brief statement Wednesday. He had originally been scheduled to return home as part of a plea deal no later than Feb. 20.

Al-Darbi pleaded guilty before a military commission at the U.S. base in Cuba in 2014 to charges stemming from an al-Qaida attack on a French oil tanker. He is expected to serve out the rest of his sentence, about nine years, in a Saudi rehabilitation program as part of a plea deal that included extensive testimony against others held at Guantanamo

His lead defense counsel, Ramzi Kassem, said the transfer was the culmination of “16 long and painful years in captivity” by the U.S. at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan, with his children growing up without him and his own father dying.

“While it may not make him whole, my hope is that repatriation at least marks the end of injustice for Ahmed,” said Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York who has represented the prisoner since 2008.

Al-Darbi was captured at the airport in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June 2002 and taken to the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan. He has testified to being kept in solitary confinement, strung up from a door in shackles, deprived of sleep and subjected to other forms of abuse as part of his early interrogation.

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AP: Starving Yemen mothers skip meals to save their children

ADEN, Yemen (AP) — The young mother stepped onto the scale for the doctor. Even with all her black robes on, she weighed only 84 pounds — 38 kilograms. Umm Mizrah is pregnant, but starving herself to feed her children.

And her sacrifice may not be enough to save them.

The doctor’s office is covered with dozens of pictures of emaciated babies who have come through Al-Sadaqa Hospital in Aden, casualties of a three-year war in Yemen that has left millions of people on the edge of famine.

Mothers like Umm Mizrah are often the only defense against the hunger that has killed thousands. They skip meals, they sleep to escape the gnawing in their stomachs. They hide bony faces and emaciated bodies in voluminous black abaya robes and veils.

Babies In Yemen Starve In Shadow Of Civil War

The doctor asked the mother to get back on the scale holding her son, Mizrah. At 17 months, he was 5.8 kilograms (12.8 pounds) — around half the normal weight for his age.

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GUARD: Syria: RAF admits drone strike killed civilian in attack targeting Isis

Casualty is first civilian death the MoD has admitted responsibility for since airstrikes in region began four years ago

An RAF drone strike killed a civilian in Syria last month, the first time the Ministry of Defence has admitted responsibility for the death of a non-combatant since beginning air attacks in the region almost four years ago.

According to the MoD, a Reaper drone armed with a Hellfire missile fired at three suspected Islamic State fighters on 26 March. Almost simultaneously, a civilian on a motorbike entered the target area and was killed too.

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, in a written statement to parliament described the fatality as “deeply regrettable”.

The MoD has faced scepticism over repeated claims that not a single airstrike out of 1,600 in Iraq, and latterly Syria, had resulted in any known civilian deaths since strikes began in September 2014. The decision to admit responsibility in this case follows a review of aerial footage and other evidence.

Williamson, in the written statement, said: “We do everything we can to minimise the risk to civilian life from UK strikes through our rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of UK service personnel.

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AP: Charity, war monitor say Syrian hospital destroyed in strike

BEIRUT (AP) — A medical charity and a Syria war monitoring group say a hospital has been destroyed in an airstrike in opposition-held northwest Syria.

The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations charity, which supports hospitals and doctors in opposition territory, says the hospital in the village of Kafr Zeita was targeted Wednesday morning. It said in a statement the hospital was struck four times, and one worker was killed.

It said the hospital in the rural north Hama countryside served 5,000 patients per month.

The Britain-Based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the strike. It said the hospital suffered heavy damage and could no longer serve patients. The Observatory said it could not determine if Russian or Syrian government jets were behind the strike.

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REU: Syrian rebels prepare to quit south Damascus

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Buses arrived in south Damascus on Thursday to transport Syrian rebels from an enclave they have surrendered there, but some fighters in another besieged area near Homs kept fighting despite an agreement to quit, a war monitor said.

A boy walks along a damaged street at the city of Douma in Damascus, Syria, April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

The opposition still holds two large areas in the northwest and southwest bordering Syria’s international frontiers, neither of which are under siege by the Syrian army. But President Bashar al-Assad is pushing to retake two other rebel-held areas that are entirely surrounded by government-held territory.

Syrian state television showed footage of the buses arriving at Beit Sahm, driving through narrow streets surrounded by soldiers and with concrete buildings above showing scars of war.

Some 5,000 fighters and their family members are expected to leave for the opposition areas in northern Syria, it reported, following an earlier group who left the enclave on Monday.

Islamic State fighters holding another part of the same enclave are still fighting after weeks of intense bombardment in the area of al-Hajar al-Aswad and Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp.

On Wednesday, insurgents in the biggest of the remaining besieged areas, located between the cities of Hama and Homs around the towns of Rastan, Talbiseh and Houla, also agreed to surrender.

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AP: Iraqi officials: Drive-by shooting kills 8 north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen in two speeding cars opened fire on civilians near a town north of Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 13, Iraqi officials said Wednesday. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the attackers displaying the black flag of the Islamic State group.

According to two police officials, the attack happened late Tuesday in a busy commercial area near the city of Tarmiyah, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assault but with the IS flag seen at the scene, it only underscores the Sunni militant group’s ability to still launch significant attacks, including in urban areas.

Iraq is heading into parliamentary elections on May 12 — the first balloting since the government declared IS defeated in Iraq earlier this year.

Among the casualties in Tarmiyah were workers who were putting up election campaign posters for candidates running for parliament, police officials said. The officials and eyewitnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Last month, IS warned that anyone who runs for a seat or votes in the election will be considered an infidel, saying it will also attack polling stations.

In an online video, it showed the shooting of what it described “two advocators” — meaning campaigners — for the vote in Tarmiyah. A few days later, the militant group released an audio message accusing Iraq’s Shiite-led government of being an agent for Iran.

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NYT: These Iraqi Farmers Said No to ISIS. When Night Came They Paid the Price.

Relatives and neighbors of 21 people killed in a brazen Islamic State attack in Tarmiya, Iraq, gathered for a funeral service on Wednesday. Credit Ali Maliki/The New York Times

TARMIYA, Iraq — Islamic State militants dressed in Iraqi military uniforms launched a brazen nighttime attack in a farming hamlet close to Baghdad, killing 21 members of a local tribe that has been a vocal opponent of the extremists, security officials and residents said Wednesday.

The hourlong gun battle late Tuesday in this rural area approximately 25 miles north of the capital threatens growing optimism among both Iraqi officials and the international coalition fighting the Islamic State that Iraqis are gaining momentum in their efforts to stabilize cities and communities devastated by violence.

Although Iraqi forces are still engaged in mopping-up operations to rid pockets of the country of sleeper cells, terrorist attacks and civilian deaths have dropped sharply since the government declared victory over the Islamic State in December. In April, only 68 Iraqi civilians were killed in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict, according to the United Nations, continuing a steep decline of violence in a country once plagued by almost daily suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

But the high death toll on Tuesday — 18 men, two women and a 5-year-old girl — and the timing of the attack are especially worrisome. Iraqi security forces were already on high alert across the nation ahead of national elections scheduled for May 12.

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Afghanistan demands extradition of diplomat’s murderer from Pakistan

The Afghan government has demanded the extradition of the perpetrator involved in the murder of an Afghan diplomat in Karachi city of Pakistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani made the demand during a meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan in Kabul on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Rabbani also .

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Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Spc. Gabriel D. Conde, 22, of Loveland, Colorado, was killed in action April 30 as a result of enemy small arms fire in Tagab District, Afghanistan. The incident is under investign.
Conde was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

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.


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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