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21 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

DRG: Invading Iraq

Part One: How Britain And America Got It Wrong (Modern Military Documentary)

Invading Iraq is a special two-hour documentary investigation recounting the key strategies, battles and turning points of the war from both sides of the battlefield – ending with the story of Saddam’s capture. The documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the allied invasion and advance on Baghdad. Through first-hand accounts from key commanders, frontline soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict, the film offers a rare battlefield perspective of the war as seen through the eyes of those who lived it. It also shows how the false assessment of Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction was just the first in a series of major intelligence failures that shaped the course of the war and led to the unstable occupation America and Britain are now mired in.

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: US Office Overseeing Fight Against IS Gets Reprieve

WASHINGTON — The State Department unit overseeing the fight against the Islamic State group will stay in business for at least six more months, reversing an administration plan for the unit’s imminent downgrade even as President Donald Trump presses ahead with a speedy U.S. exit from Syria.

A plan initiated by Rex Tillerson before he was fired as secretary of state in March would have folded the office of the special envoy to the global coalition into the department’s counterterrorism bureau as early as this spring, officials said. Tillerson’s successor, Mike Pompeo, canceled the plan this month, and the office will stay an independent entity until at least December, when there will be a new review, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The office reports directly to the secretary of state and the president, and the planned shift would have undercut its status and the priority of its mission. It could have led to staffing and budget cuts as well as the departure of the special envoy, Brett McGurk. He is now expected to remain in his job at least through the end of the year.

Still, the officials said Trump’s intent to reduce the U.S. military and civilian stabilization presence in Syria has not changed. The State Department has ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria’s northwest. Islamic State militants have been almost entirely eliminated from the region, which is controlled by a hodgepodge of other extremist groups and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government forces.

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REU: Syrian army resumes offensive in south Damascus: state TV

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian army resumed its offensive against Islamic State militants in south Damascus on Monday after a short ceasefire to allow women, children and old people leave, state television said.

The Syrian army and its allies have been battling for weeks to recapture the tiny Islamic State enclave, the last area outside government control in or around the capital.

State television broadcast footage of the shattered area and said air strikes “were targeting the last terrorist remnants” in the area after reporting earlier that a temporary humanitarian ceasefire had been in place since Sunday night.

It showed soldiers giving victory signs, waving weapons and Syrian flags before a smashed cityscape. Buildings were punctured by shellfire, walls were peppered with bullet marks, metal satellite dishes were bent and scorched, and the dome of a mosque had a gaping hole near its base.

On Sunday, a war monitor said fighters had begun withdrawing from the area toward Islamic State territory in eastern Syria under a surrender deal, but state media said fighting continued.

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AP: Iraq’s al-Sadr says next government will be ‘inclusive

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, has sought to reassure Iraqis about their next government, saying it will be “inclusive” and mindful of their needs.

No single bloc won a majority in the May 12 vote, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. Major political players began talks soon after the election’s partial results were announced last week.

The latest round was held Sunday between al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of a coalition of Shiite paramilitary forces backed by both the government and neighboring Iran.

Late on Saturday night, he met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose bloc made a surprisingly poor showing in the election, finishing third behind the blocs led by al-Sadr and al-Amiri.

Speaking after his talks with al-Abadi, al-Sadr said the first postelection meeting between the two “sends a clear and comforting message to the Iraqi people: Your government will take care of you and will be inclusive, we will not exclude anyone. We will work toward reform and prosperity.”

He did not elaborate, or provide details about what he and al-Abadi discussed.

Al-Sadr told al-Amiri in their meeting that he wanted a government formed quickly to provide Iraqis with services and “express their legitimate aspirations,” according to a statement issued by his office.

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“Collateral Damage”: Dehumanizing Millions Of Victims In America’s War On Terror

‘No matter how many times the U.S. bombs us, no one bats an eye.’ These are the words of just one of millions of Iraqis who have died needlessly in America’s ongoing ‘War on Terror.’ The country’s endless war has figuratively and literally destroyed the lives of countless non-combatants.

 In the Iraqi city of Mosul, local residents have retrieved almost 300 bodies from underneath buildings that were leveled by a U.S. airstrike that took place on March 17. The strike killed hundreds as part of an attempt by a U.S.-led coalition to combat Daesh (ISIS) forces by bombing their network of tunnels.

Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, a senior U.S. commander in Iraq, admitted to The New York Times that, as of now, ”the initial assessment is that we probably had a role in these casualties.” In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, U.S. Brig. General Rick Uribe, who is reportedly in charge of approving strikes across parts of Iraq, argued that they’re “very careful” about how much “collateral damage” such strikes might cause.

But after being trapped for days beneath the rubble, many Iraqis caught in the fray of the latest U.S. airstrike in the country are fighting injury, sickness, and trauma. Ali Thanoon, who was trapped beneath debris for five days, had his house bombed.

Another Iraqi told a harrowing tale of pulling his daughter out from beneath concrete, and then seeing the corpse of his wife – her head no longer visible, and only her arms and torso intact. “We didn’t see any Daesh die – only civilians,” another resident, a local photographer, alleged.

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NYT: Once Hated by U.S. and Tied to Iran, Is Sadr Now ‘Face of Reform’ in Iraq?

BAGHDAD — Iraqis are still haunted by memories of black-clad death squads roaming Baghdad neighborhoods a decade ago, cleansing them of Sunnis as the country was convulsed by sectarian violence.

Many of the mass killings in the capital were done in the name of Moktada al-Sadr, a cleric best remembered by Americans for fiery sermons declaring it a holy duty among his Shiite faithful to attack United States forces.

The militia he led was armed with Iranian-supplied weapons, and Mr. Sadr cultivated a strong alliance with leaders in Tehran, who were eager to supplant the American presence in Iraq and play the dominant role in shaping the country’s future.

Now, the man once demonized by the United States as one of the greatest threats to peace and stability in Iraq has come out as the surprise winner of this month’s tight elections, after a startling reinvention into a populist, anticorruption campaigner whose “Iraq First” message appealed to voters across sectarian divides.

The results have Washington — and Tehran — on edge, as officials in both countries seek to influence what is expected to be a complex and drawn-out battle behind the scenes to build a coalition government. Mr. Sadr’s bloc won 54 seats — the most of any group, but still far short of a majority in Iraq’s 329-seat Parliament.

Read full story »

Photo: Afghanistan War

AP: Afghan official: Taliban kill 5 workers clearing land mines

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the Taliban killed at least five members of a demining team in southern Kandahar province.

Zia Durrani, spokesman for the provincial police chief, says a sixth worker is missing and his fate is unknown following the attack on Monday morning in the district of Maiwand.

Durrani says the de-miners were working for the TAPI national project, clearing a segment for a planned gas pipeline from central Asia that’s headed to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Karim Yuresh, police spokesman in northern Faryab province, says the Taliban attacked a district headquarters on Sunday night, burning down about 50 shops in Khuaja Sabz Posh district. He says reinforcements repelled the attackers. Six insurgents were killed and 10 were wounded.

The Taliban haven’t claimed responsibility for either attack.

AP: Fort Campbell brigade casing colors, prepares for deployment

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Fort Campbell’s 101st Combat Aviation Brigade is preparing for deployment to Afghanistan and will hold a color-casing ceremony at the Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

The casing of the colors is an Army tradition that represents movement of the brigade to a new location.

The brigade will replace the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade in a regular rotation of forces and will be the unit’s fifth deployment to Afghanistan. The 101st Airborne Division said in a news release that in previous deployments, the brigade flew thousands of hours transporting troops and providing close air support and aerial reconnaissance.

The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Fort Campbell.

FN: Afghan Taliban claim to have captured another district in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province

Locals have been warning for weeks that further pockets of Ghazni province were on the brink of falling to the Taliban, and alas, over the weekend the brutal insurgent group reportedly ascertained further control of the area around 100 miles south of the capital Kabul.

Heavy clashes were ongoing Sunday in the Ajristan district of Ghazni — with Taliban fighters closing in on government forces — and edging closer to the police headquarters and government compound. Telecommunications also were reported to be down, while the Taliban sealed off the surrounding roads.

The Taliban claimed via its media wing, which has not yet been independently confirmed, that it successfully had obtained control of the district — boasting that a “major of enemy troops surrendered to Mujahedeen and the rest were forced to flee,” and that the district center was seized “without any firefight.”

Combat in the district was ignited three days ago, and on Saturday local officials cautioned that sending in reinforcements was crucial, warning of the “tragic” outcome should the government lose control of the district.

The possible Taliban capture comes less than three days after heavy fighting in the 50,000-person Afghan city of Farah, which last week saw some of the most intense fighting in the area in months. On Tuesday, Taliban insurgents opened fire on the western provincial capital — taking over several crucial checkpoints.

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Iran reacts at allegations linking the country to Farah war

The Iranian officials reacted at the allegations linking the country to the recent war and violence in western Farah province of Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Bahram Qassemi told reporters that Tehran notes the allegations by certain sides in Afghanistan accusing the neighboring countries for supporting the Taliban after .

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Taliban leader Mullah Din Mohammad and comrades killed in Farah airstrike

A key Taliban local group leader Mullah Din Mohammad and his comrades were killed in an airstrike in western Farah province of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Mullah Din Mohammad was killed in an airstrike conducted in Posht Rod district of Farah province. The source further added that a total of four militants .

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5 de-miners clearing TAPI project route killed in Kandahar

At least five de-miners who were clearing the path for the TAPI gas pipeline project were killed in militants attaack in southern Kandahar province. According to the local officials, the incident took place earlier today in the vicinity of Maiwand district. The provincial governor’s spokesman confirmed that five de-miners working in TAPI field were killed

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Iraq A Deadly Deception – 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.

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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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