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04 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Rage Against The Dying

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

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

NYT: Opinion Why Are American Troops in the Yemen War?

Yemenis inspecting the damage from airstrikes in the city of Saada in January.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Pentagon and the Trump administration apparently have misled Americans about growing military involvement in a war in Yemen that we should have nothing to do with.

In the latest expansion of America’s secret wars, about a dozen Army commandos have been on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen since late last year, according to an exclusive report by The Times. The commandos are helping to locate and destroy missiles and launch sites used by indigenous Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack Saudi cities.

This involvement puts the lie to Pentagon statements that American military aid to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics and intelligence, and is not related to combat.

When senators at a hearing in March demanded to know whether American troops were at risk of entering hostilities with the Houthis, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the Central Command, assured them, “We’re not parties to this conflict.”

In at least 14 countries, American troops are fighting extremist groups that are professed enemies of the United States or are connected, sometimes quite tenuously, to such militants. The Houthis pose no such threat to the United States. But they are backed by Iran, so the commandos’ deployment increases the risk that the United States could come into direct conflict with that country, a target of increasing ire from the administration, the Saudis and Israelis.

Such significant military decisions require public debate to force presidents and their generals to justify their decisions and be held accountable for the consequences. But checks and balances have eroded since Sept. 11, 2001, as ordinary Americans became indifferent to the country’s endless wars against terrorists and Congress largely abdicated its constitutional role to share responsibility with the president for sending troops into battle.

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AP: National Guard soldiers continue training for deployment

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — More than 4,000 Mississippi National Guard soldiers are going through intensive training to prepare them for deployment to the Middle East.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the guardsmen made their way to Fort Bliss, Texas in March for the start of live-fire training and maneuvers. The arid, sandy and windy environment mimics some of the conditions the soldiers will face in the Middle East.

The members of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team will begin deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield by the end of June. They will be based out of Kuwait.

155th ABCT commander Col. Doug Ferguson says the strategy is now more decisive action. Ferguson says they’ll be doing more wartime missions with wartime equipment.

The soldiers will begin returning home next spring when their nine-month tour overseas is completed.

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GUARD:  Syria: The World’s War review: Lyse Doucet dissects a brutal and misunderstood conflict

The veteran BBC reporter has been on the ground in Syria since the early days of hope in the Arab spring. It’s her expert witness that brings so much weight to this two-parter

The worst humanitarian crisis of the century. A conflict that has gone on longer than the second world war, drawing in 75 countries and counting. Half a million killed. Millions displaced. A country in utter ruins. And still, seven years on, no military solution, no prospect of a diplomatic answer and no end in sight. This tremendous – and necessarily distressing – documentary (part two is on Friday), fronted by the veteran correspondent Lyse Doucet, begins with the now stock phrases and statistics that trick us into thinking we know this war. Then it tells the story of what actually happened. The facts, as they used to be known.

And we need to be reminded. The appalling truth of a war so long and entangled in world politics is that you become confused, disengaged and desensitised. Despair blots out the need to know and keep knowing. This is how we begin to forget why wars started in the first place.

Doucet, who has been on the ground in Syria since the beginning of the conflict and is a reminder of the courage and tenacity of old-school reporters, begins with the peaceful protests in Homs in May 2011. She interviews Noura al-Jizawi, a student who, emboldened by the Arab spring like thousands of others, risked everything to take to the streets against the Assad regime. “It was an amazing day,” Noura recalls, describing it as the first time in her life she had a voice. When the protests swept the country and Assad responded with a brutal crackdown, Noura became a daughter of the revolution. She was kidnapped and detained in the notorious Sadynaya prison. Images taken inside by a government photographer show numbered and recorded dead bodies. What more damning evidence of state-sponsored torture is there?

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REU: Egypt says sending Arab troops to Syria a possibility: state newspaper

Sending Arab troops to Syria is a possibility that is being discussed by officials from various countries, Egypt’s foreign minister was quoted as saying in a state newspaper on Friday.

“In regards to the situation in Syria, Shoukry said that the idea of replacing forces with another that may be Arab is a possibility,” Al-Ahram quoted Sameh Shoukry as saying.

“This proposition is not only being discussed by the media, but also during discussions and deliberations amongst officials of states to look into how these ideas could contribute to stabilizing Syria,” Al-Ahram quoted Shoukry as saying.

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REU: Syria’s war grinds on, no respite for civilians, U.N. says

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s war rages unabated despite a fall in the number of besieged civilians, a senior U.N. official said on Thursday, warning of a potential worsening of the conflict in the rebel-controlled governorate of Idlib.

People gather around a truck carrying food aid given by UN’s World Food Programme in Raqqa, Syria April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Aboud Hamam

U.N. humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said millions of civilians were still caught up in the seven-year-old conflict and many who escaped battle zones had to seek shelter in overcrowded camps for the displaced in Idlib in the northwest.

Insurgent officials say they fear an offensive against Idlib by Syria’s military and its allies Russia and Iran, something humanitarian agencies say could produce civilian suffering on a greater scale than during the siege of Aleppo last year.

“We cannot have a war in Idlib. I keep saying that now to Russia, to Iran, to Turkey, to the United States, to anyone that can have an influence,” Egeland told reporters.

He called for negotiations to protect the civilians, and said recent air raids in Idlib were a bad omen.

The war has been going President Bashar al-Assad’s way since Russia intervened on his side in 2015. From holding less than a fifth of Syria in 2015, Assad has recovered to control the largest chunk of the country with Russian and Iranian help.

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AP: Afghan official: Taliban take district in northern province

ABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the Taliban have captured another district in the northern province of Badakhshan.

Abdullah Naji Nazari, a provincial council member, says the insurgents launched a surprise attack on Thursday in the strategic Kohistanat district, which is located along a route to the provincial capital, Fayz Abad.

Nazari says no casualties were reported in the day-long assault. He added that the captured district is now the third under Taliban control in Badakhshan, which has about two dozen districts.

Army spokesman in nearby northern Balkh province, Mohammad Anif Rezaye, says reinforcements have arrived in Fayz Abad but are awaiting orders to move against the Taliban due to bad weather in the region.

Last month, the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive, when they regularly launch attacks.

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NYT: Afghan Forces Say Foil Attacks on Government Building, Hospital

KABUL — Afghan security forces arrested seven suspected militants who were planning to attack a government-run hospital and an interior ministry office in the capital Kabul on Thursday, officials said.

The arrests come two days after twin blasts near government buildings in Kabul killed at least 26 people including nine journalists.

Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of high profile attacks in Kabul in recent months, exposing the inability of security officials and the government to pre-empt or prevent them.

Last month, the Taliban announced the start of its annual spring offensive or the fighting season, saying it will target U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, officials at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the seven alleged militants were interrogated and confessed plans to attack an old compound of the interior ministry and the Ghazi Amanullah Khan hospital that provides treatment to Afghan security forces.

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US forces kill five ISIS militants in Nangarhar province

At least five militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed during the airstrikes of the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The local officials are saying that the militants were killed during the airstrikes conducted over the past 24 hours in this province. The officials

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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 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.

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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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