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10 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Iraq A Deadly Deception 2016, War Documentary 2018

WAR DOCUMENTARY: IRAQ A DEADLY DECEPTION ALJAZEERA DOCUMENTARIES 2018 On the evening of 9/11, George W Bush made a vow to the American public – that he would defeat terrorism.

Unknown to those listening in shock to the presidential address, the president and his advisers had already begun planning their trajectory into an invasion of Iraq. It was packaged as “holding responsible the states who support terrorism” by Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser between 2001 and 2003.

“I believe it represented a recognition that we would never succeed against the terrorists if we went after them one at a time and as long as governments were facilitating the organisation, training, equipping of, financing of terrorist organisations, we were never going to get it under control,” says Perle.

After 100 days spent fighting those who had become publicly accepted as the culprits – Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan – the US set the ball rolling for war against Iraq.

On the evening of 9/11 the president is saying: well, maybe we’ll be going after Iraq now and somebody said, well, that would be against international law. The president responded: I don’t care, we’re going to kick some ass.

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

AP: In Yemen’s Aden, a generation chewed up and spit out by war

ADEN, Yemen (AP) — Best friends, they grew up together. When rebels attacked, they fought together. Eighteen years old and without a day of military training, they picked up Kalashnikovs and went to defend the front line in Yemen’s southern city of Aden.

It was a rite of passage for Osama Ahmed and Ahmed Saleh, a moment for the teens to prove their manhood in a society where every man has a gun and is expected to know how to use it. The day he left for battle, Osama said his mother told him, “Son, I worry about you and want you near me. But if every mother thinks this way, no one will go and fight for us … Do not leave your friends.”

The 2015 Battle for Aden turned out to be a brutal, scarring experience. Today, three years later, Osama and Ahmed wander a shattered city, disillusioned. They have no jobs, hopes or prospects. Nights, they sit on the beach and watch the moon on the waves of the Arabian Sea, chewing qat — a narcotic leaf — and dreaming of leaving Yemen.

“My friends and I, all we think about these days is how to get out,” Osama said. “It doesn’t feel like it will get any better in our lifetime.”

Yemen’s civil war has chewed up and spat out a generation of youth. Fighters on all sides are often minors, some as young as 12, dragged into what many see as a cynical fight between Iranian-backed rebels known as Houthis and a U.S.-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia nominally supporting the government. Three years of war with no end in sight has wrecked Yemen, causing death, displacement, economic collapse, hunger and disease.

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NYT: Trump’s Iran Move Reminds Some of Run-Up to Iraq War

WASHINGTON — Fifteen years after invading Iraq over weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda that both proved non-existent, the United States is again steering toward a possible confrontation with a Middle East power for suspected work on nuclear weapons and support for terrorism.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran policy sounds hauntingly familiar to some current and former U.S. officials who witnessed the buildup to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, where sectarian and ethnic fractures and some 5,000 U.S. troops still remain.

More than 4,400 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in the conflict, which many analysts have called one of the major U.S. foreign policy debacles of modern times.

“There are disturbing and eerie similarities” in the misuse of intelligence then and now, said Paul Pillar, who was the top U.S. intelligence analyst for the Middle East from 2001 to 2005.

“The basic thing that is going on is a highly tendentious, cherry-picked, ‘we know what the conclusion is'” use of intelligence, Pillar said.

Trump on Tuesday withdrew the United States from a six-nation agreement with Tehran that limits Iran’s nuclear work in return for relief from economic sanctions.

The president charged that the deal, negotiated under his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, did not address Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

Trump made no mention of assessments by the U.S. intelligence community and the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, which has nuclear inspectors in Iran, that Tehran is complying with the 2015 deal.

Instead, he cited a cache of Iranian documents made public by Israel on April 30 that he said showed Iran’s leaders lied when they denied ever pursuing a nuclear weapons project.

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AP: Israel strikes ‘dozens’ of Iranian targets in Syria

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military on Thursday said it attacked “dozens” of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date.

Israel said the targets included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria. It also said it destroyed several Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire and that none of its warplanes was hit.

The blistering Israeli assault was by far the most intensive Israeli action in neighboring Syria since the civil war broke out there in 2011. Israel has largely tried to stay on the sidelines, but has previously acknowledged carrying out over 100 airstrikes over the past seven years, most believed to be aimed at Iranian weapons shipments bound for the Hezbollah militant group.

But with the civil war appearing to wind down, and Iranian forces looking to establish a foothold on Israel’s doorstep, Israel has stepped up its response. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, an annual security gathering north of Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would response fiercely to any further Iranian actions.

“We will not let Iran turn Syria into a forward base against Israel. This is the policy, a very, very clear policy, and we’re acting according to this policy,” he said. “We, of course, struck almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and they need to remember this arrogance of theirs. If we get rain, they’ll get a flood. I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood.”

Iranian state television broke its silence over the Israeli airstrikes late Thursday morning, the start of the Iranian weekend. A presenter announced the Israeli strikes, sourcing the information to Syria’s state-run SANA news agency. The broadcaster also described the Israeli attack as “unprecedented” since the 1967 Mideast war.

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GUARD: Israel retaliates after Iran ‘fires 20 rockets’ at army in occupied Golan Heights

  • Israeli military says projectiles were launched from Syria

  • IDF says military was ‘moving’ against Iranian targets in Syria

Arch-enemies Iran and Israel edged closer to all-out war on Thursday after Israel’s military said its positions in the Golan Heights were fired at with a barrage of Iranian rockets, prompting it to respond with extensive strikes targeting Tehran’s forces across Syria.

The attack, if confirmed, would mark the first time Iran has fired rockets in a direct strike on Israeli forces, dramatically ratcheting up what has for years been a conflict fought through proxies.

Several but not all of the Iranian rockets were intercepted by Israeli defences, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, told reporters.

“At approximately 12.10, 10 minutes past midnight, forces belonging to the Iranian Quds Force fired approximately 20 projectiles – most of them are probably rockets but that is yet to be determined – towards the forward line of IDF positions in the Golan Heights,” he said.

“So far we are not aware of any casualties, any IDF casualties,” he said. A preliminary assessment found there was minimal damage, he added.

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REU: Syrian Observatory: Israeli raid in Syria killed Iranians

BEIRUT/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday an Israeli attack on Iranian military facilities south of Damascus had killed at least 15 people, including eight Iranians.

The reports of an Israeli attack in Kisweh late on Tuesday emerged after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal.

The UK-based Observatory said the missile strikes hit depots and rocket launchers, killing 15 individuals including eight Iranians. Reuters could not independently verify the report.

A commander in the regional alliance fighting alongside Damascus said that Israel had hit a Syrian army base without causing casualties.

Trump’s hard tack against the nuclear deal, while welcomed by Israel, has stirred fears of a possible regional flare-up.

Within hours of the White House announcement on Tuesday night, Syrian state media said that its air defenses had brought down two Israeli missiles.

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GUARD: Putin and Netanyahu hold talks as tensions flare over Syria strikes

Leaders discuss military coordination as Israel is accused of airstrikes near Damascus

President Vladimir Putin hosted the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Russia on Wednesday for talks on military coordination as tensions flared in the Middle East over apparent Israeli airstrikes on Syria and the Trump administration’s exit from a nuclear deal with Iran.

Netanyahu arrived in Russia after Syrian state-run media said Israeli warplanes had targeted a military outpost near Damascus overnight. Nine people were killed when missiles hit depots and rocket launchers that probably belonged to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Kisweh, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Kremlin, which backs the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the seven-year Syrian civil war, said Putin had discussed the attacks with senior members of his security council.

Netanyahu said before his trip to Moscow that “in light of what is currently happening in Syria, it is necessary to ensure continued coordination” between the Russian and Syria militaries. He made no mention of the airstrikes, and Tel Aviv has not commented. Russia and Israel have set up a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.

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AP: Iraq’s Sunnis wary but hopeful about upcoming election

HASSAN SHAM CAMP, Iraq (AP) — After bearing the brunt of a 3½-year war against the Islamic State group, Iraq’s minority Sunnis have a key concern ahead of Saturday’s parliamentary election: Will the winners be more inclusive toward the Sunnis, whose marginalization partly fueled the rise of the extremists?

There’s a mixture of hope and apathy in the Sunni communities. The military defeat of IS in nearly all of Iraq’s territory has delivered millions from life under the group’s harsh rule, and the campaign rhetoric has been less sectarian in the days before this election.

Still, the war has left more than 2 million Iraqis, mostly Sunnis, displaced from their homes, with cities, towns and villages suffering heavy destruction. Repairing infrastructure across Anbar and Nineveh provinces, both majority Sunni areas, will cost tens of billions of dollars, local officials say.

“The issue is that the country has been destroyed, but the change is in your hands. This is your last opportunity!” candidate Abdulkarim Suleiman Nuaymi told a crowd of dozens of people gathered in a small clearing amid the tents of a camp for displaced families.

Nuaymi, running with the Nineveh is Our Identity coalition, delivered a message that reflected the mood among Sunnis.

“I’m ashamed of our situation,” Nuaymi said. “The problem is that all these politicians, they just want to repeat what they’ve done already. What new (plans) do they have to offer?”

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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.

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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