16 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

NYT: Suspected US Airstrike Kills 3 Al-Qaeda Operatives in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni tribal and security officials say a missile fired by a suspected U.S. drone has killed three al-Qaida militants who were driving in a vehicle in the country’s south.

They say the operatives were killed when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle late Monday in the province of Shabwa.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemen affiliate is known, has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch, and has been implicated in a number of attempted attacks on the U.S. homeland.

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NYT: Iraqi Election Front-Runner Moktada al-Sadr Courts Partners to Govern

BAGHDAD — The front-runner in Iraqi elections, the populist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, wasted little time trying to prove to potential allies that he is serious about shaking up the government and cleaning up corruption as he worked to cobble together a governing coalition.

His spokesman, Saleh al-Obeidi, said in an interview in Baghdad on Tuesday that Mr. Sadr’s movement is seeking allies who agree to its three-plank manifesto: ending the practice of awarding ministries on sectarian quotas, fighting corruption and allowing independent technocrats to manage key government agencies.

“Sai’id Moktada wants to bring Iraq out of crisis and out of misery,” Mr. Obeidi said, using an honorific. “We want to start a whole new way of doing things.”

The surprising upset in elections this weekend by Mr. Sadr’s unlikely alliance of communists, Sunni businessmen and pious community activists comes amid long-simmering anger at the established politicians who have controlled the government since Iraq’s first democratic election in 2005 after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Mr. Sadr, who once called for attacks on American forces, capitalized on this widespread discontent by rebranding himself in recent years as a champion of the poor, a firebrand against corruption and a patriot who rails against outside interference by Iran as well as America.

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ALJ: Opinion How Iraq’s elections proved ‘status quo’ expectations wrong

Iraq’s election was supposed to seal the political status quo, but Iraqis voted against it.

With partial results of Iraq’s parliamentary vote released, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition (the Alliance of Revolutionaries for Reform) is leading in the polls. Coming in second is Hadi al-Amiri’s Fatah (Conquest) coalition, featuring a list of candidates from Shia militias. Incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition, Nasr (Victory) Alliance, is third.

Observers of Iraq’s electoral process predicted the exact opposite, assuming the incumbent al-Abadi would have the advantage. The Iraqi prime minister was expected to win the majority vote, capitalising on the victory against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which he announced in December last year and which he re-emphasised in the name of his alliance.

Sairoon, an anomalous coalition of the Sadrist Islamist movement and the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP), was not perceived as a frontrunner in these elections. However, the fact that it secured the most votes in the capital Baghdad shows that Iraqis are seeking political change and voting against the status quo of the past decade. That is also confirmed by the surprisingly low results for both al-Abadi’s coalition and former PM Nouri al-Maliki’s Islamic Dawa Party……………Whatever the outcome of the negotiations is, one thing is for certain: These elections shook up the status quo and showed that there is potential for non-sectarian politics in Iraq. The voters struck down the entrenched political elite and demonstrated – both through their votes and through their boycott – that they reject the current system of patronage and rampant corruption.

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NPR: < Former U.S. Ambassador To Iraq Discusses Election Results

As we just heard, Muqtada al-Sadr was one of America’s chief enemies during the war that followed the 2003 invasion. He made his name leading uprisings against U.S. forces in Baghdad and Najaf. The Pentagon once called his Mahdi Army the biggest threat to Iraq’s security, which prompted us to wonder what American officials who worked on Iraq during those bloodiest years of war there – what they make of Sadr’s apparent victory.

Zalmay Khalilzad was the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad from 2005 to 2007. And he joins me now from his office in Arlington in northern Virginia. Ambassador, welcome.

ZALMAY KHALILZAD: Well, it’s great to be with you.

KELLY: Good to have you with us. I want to ask how surprised you are. A lot of the headlines today noting Muqtada al-Sadr as surprise front-runner and the, quote, “surprise lead he’s taken.” How surprised are you by how this appears to be shaping up?

KHALILZAD: Well, I am surprised. I thought that Prime Minister Abadi, who had led the Iraqis in the war against ISIS, would do better. But as we learned with Churchill after World War II and with President Bush Sr. after the Gulf War, the voters after a war prioritize differently. And Muqtada and his group, which is an unusual alliance with communists and liberals, has emerged on top with perhaps 54 or so seats.

…………..KELLY: But this – he wasn’t just a warrior. He has blood on his hands for the deaths of U.S. soldiers, many U.S. soldiers. How do you reconcile that person with a man who may now hold the reins of power in Iraq?

KHALILZAD: Well, of course you’re right about that. He does have the blood of American soldiers on his hand. And we killed a lot of his people. We were on the verge of killing him when Ayatollah al-Sistani intervened. And…

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Photos – Afghan Innocents

GUARD: Taliban launch large-scale assault on western Afghan city

Security forces reportedly rushing reinforcements to Farah as insurgents armed with captured weapons flood into city

Taliban fighters armed with captured weapons and night vision goggles have flooded into the capital of Afghanistan’s western Farah province, forcing the governor to flee and driving security forces and officials into a handful of besieged compounds.

Insurgents launched their attack on Farah city, near the Iranian border, around 2am, city residents said. Within hours they were within a few hundred metres of police and intelligence headquarters and had set up checkpoints on roads in and out of city, local officials said.

“Fighting is currently ongoing inside the city and we do not know about the condition of civilians,” said Dadullah Qane, a provincial council member for Farah, who said insurgents were trying to spring fellow militants from the provincial jail. “They are trying to break into the prison.”

Another senior official who asked to remain anonymous said the provincial governor had fled soon after the attack began.

Farah province is a key drug trafficking corridor that borders Iran and the opium-growing heartlands of Helmand. Hundreds of fighters based in Farah, Helmand and neighbouring Nimroz joined together to launch Tuesday’s attack.

The Taliban last month announced the start of its annual spring offensive – fighting ebbs and flows with the seasons in Afghanistan’s long war – by formally renouncing government calls for peace talks.

By late afternoon on Tuesday communications with the city had been cut. Afghan security forces said they were rushing reinforcements to Farah city, which Nato claimed was still under government control. A spokesman tweeted a photo of an A-10 fighter plane “on the offensive against the Taliban”.

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REU: Bodies of seven Afghan refugees found off Turkish coast: coastguard

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Seven Afghan migrants, including three children, died after their boat sank late on Monday off Turkey’s northwest province of Canakkale, the Turkish coastguard said.

The boat was carrying 20 people when it sank, they said in a statement, adding that 12 other Afghan migrants and an Iranian national had been rescued by fishing boats and search and rescue teams.

The refugees will be taken to a repatriation center and their situation will be assessed, a spokesman for the Canakkale immigration authority said.

The Iranian was detained on suspicion of being a human trafficker, the state-run news agency Anadolu said. The boat had been heading to the Greek island of Lesbos, it said.

More than a million people entered the EU in 2015, mostly fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, marking the biggest influx of refugees and migrants into Europe since World War Two.

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NYT: Ex-Russian Officer Asks for New Hearing on US Forces Attack

RICHMOND, Va. — A former Russian military officer serving a life sentence for leading a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its finding that he’s not entitled to protections given to prisoners of war.

A lawyer for Irek Hamidullin filed a petition Tuesday seeking a rehearing by the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, a divided three-judge panel upheld his convictions.

Hamidullin’s lawyer argued that he was a soldier, not a criminal, and was entitled to POW protections until a military tribunal determined his status. But the appeals court panel, in a 2-1 ruling, agreed with the Justice Department that Hamidullin was not entitled to lawful-combatant status.

In his petition seeking a rehearing, Hamidullin’s lawyer, Federal Public Defender Geremy Kamens said Hamidullin was wrongly prosecuted “for acts taken in war that are wholly lawful under the laws of armed conflict.”

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In Photos: Farah city cleared of Taliban militants

The Afghan Military in the North says the Farah city has been fully cleared of the Taliban militants but clearance operations are still being conducted to ensure the remaining insurgents are eliminated. The 207th Zafar Corps of the Afghan Military in the West said the militants have been suppressed both inside the city as well .

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Afghan Ambassador meets Pak Army Chief after breakthrough in APAPPS talks

The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Omar Zakhilwal met with the Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa after recent breakthrough in bilateral talks organized in the framework of the Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace & Solidarity (APAPPS). “This afternoon met Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for a .

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Taliban driven out of Farah city: officials

The local officials in western Farah province are saying that the Taliban militants have been driven out of Farah city after hours of fierce clash involving hundreds of Taliban insurgents. Provincial governor Abdul Basir Salangi confirmed that the militants were driven out of the city in the early hours of Wednesday morning. According to Salangi, .

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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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