24 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

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

REU: Ship carrying wheat to Yemen hit by missile: EU navy force

LONDON (Reuters) – A Turkish vessel carrying wheat to Yemen this month was hit by a rocket or missile and more attacks on merchant ships are likely due to a spillover of the conflict, a senior European naval official said on Wednesday.

The Turkish flagged Ince Inebolu bulk carrier was damaged by an explosion on May 10, some 70 miles off the Red Sea port of Salif where it was due to deliver a 50,000 tonne cargo of Russian wheat.

“The assessment at the moment is it was almost certainly non-state Yemen based actors firing a land-based missile or rocket at the vessel,” Major Tom Mobbs, head of intelligence and security with the European Union’s counter piracy mission EU Navfor, told Reuters.

“It has sharpened the focus in our mind with this happening.”………..The worsening situation prompted the international shipping industry in January to issue guidance to mariners of the multiple threats including missiles, sea mines and water-borne improvised explosives devices.

“The same set of circumstances that are prompting these attacks are unlikely to go away, certainly in the near future. So, the attacks will continue,” Mobbs said.

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NYT: How a 4-Hour Battle Between Russian Mercenaries and U.S. Commandos Unfolded in Syria

WASHINGTON — The artillery barrage was so intense that the American commandos dived into foxholes for protection, emerging covered in flying dirt and debris to fire back at a column of tanks advancing under the heavy shelling. It was the opening salvo in a nearly four-hour assault in February by around 500 pro-Syrian government forces — including Russian mercenaries — that threatened to inflame already-simmering tensions between Washington and Moscow.

In the end, 200 to 300 of the attacking fighters were killed. The others retreated under merciless airstrikes from the United States, returning later to retrieve their battlefield dead. None of the Americans at the small outpost in eastern Syria — about 40 by the end of the firefight — were harmed.

The details of the Feb. 7 firefight were gleaned from interviews and documents newly obtained by The New York Times. They provide the Pentagon’s first public on-the-ground accounting of one of the single bloodiest battles the American military has faced in Syria since deploying to fight the Islamic State.

The firefight was described by the Pentagon as an act of self-defense against a unit of pro-Syrian government forces. In interviews, United States military officials said they had watched — with dread — hundreds of approaching rival troops, vehicles and artillery pieces in the week leading up to the attack.

The prospect of Russian military forces and American troops colliding has long been feared as the Cold War adversaries take opposing sides in Syria’s seven-year civil war……………Russian government forces in Syria maintain they were not involved in the battle. But in recent weeks, according to United States military officials, they have jammed the communications of smaller American drones and gunships such as the type used in the attack.

“Right now in Syria, we’re in the most aggressive E.W. environment on the planet from our adversaries,” Gen. Tony Thomas, the head of United States Special Operations Command, said recently, referring to electronic warfare. “They’re testing us every day.”

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AP: Syrian official rejects US demand for Iranian withdrawal

MOSCOW (AP) — Syria on Wednesday dismissed American calls for the withdrawal of Iranian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah militants from the war-torn country.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that “this topic is not even on the agenda of discussion, since it concerns the sovereignty of Syria.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a list of demands this week for a new nuclear deal with Iran, including the pullout of its forces from Syria, where they have provided crucial support to President Bashar Assad’s government. Russia is also a key ally of Assad, and has been waging an air campaign in Syria since 2015.

Mikdad said in Wednesday’s remarks that Syria “highly appreciates” Russia’s military support as well as “advisers” from Iran and Hezbollah. He added that “we cannot let anyone even raise this issue” of the Iranian withdrawal.

“Those who ask for something like that — and this is definitely not our Russian friends — are considering the possibility of intervention in all parts of Syria, including the support of terrorists in Syria and elsewhere in the region,” Mikdad said.

At a meeting with Assad, who visited Sochi last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that a political settlement in Syria should encourage foreign countries to withdraw their troops.

Putin’s envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, later commented that the Russian leader’s statement was aimed at the United States and Turkey, along with Iran and Hezbollah. It marked a rare instance in which Moscow suggested Iran should not maintain a permanent military presence in the country.

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REU: France, Saudi to hold Yemen humanitarian conference end June

PARIS (Reuters) – France and Saudi Arabia will co-host an international conference on Yemen in Paris in June to assess humanitarian needs for the country and possibly contribute to reviving U.N.-backed peace talks.

A Saudi-led coalition backed by the West has carried out air strikes against the armed Houthi movement in a war since 2015 to restore the internationally recognized government.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in a war that has displaced 3 million internally and unleashed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the U.N. says.

“We are currently working on how to organize this conference with our various partners, Yemen and the United Nations,” France’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing on Wednesday.

“This conference should take stock of humanitarian needs, evaluate the assistance provided and the response mechanisms which need to be improved and define humanitarian actions to improve the situation of civilian populations.”

The French president’s office said the conference would take place at the end of June. A source aware of the plans said it was scheduled for June 27.

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AP: Syrian monitor: At least 12 killed in presumed US-led strik

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syria war-monitoring group says at least 12 pro-government fighters were killed in airstrikes the previous night in the country’s east.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says none of the fatalities were Syrian nationals but foreign fighters.

Syria’s government forces have relied on support from the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group and also regional militias organized by Iran to wage war on rebels and Islamic State militants.

In Damascus, government media reported early on Thursday that international coalition aircraft struck Syrian army positions near the front lines with IS in eastern Syria.

The Observatory says the U.S.-led coalition was likely behind the strikes but the Pentagon said it had “no information to substantiate those reports.”

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REU: Syrian state media says U.S. hit army posts, U.S. denies

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian state media reported that the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria early on Thursday, but the U.S. military denied knowledge of it.

Islamic State lost most of its territory in Syria last year, but retained some remote desert areas and has attacked the army and allied forces in recent weeks. The coalition also recently restarted its own campaign against the jihadist group in Syria.

“Some of our military sites between Albu Kamal and Humeima were exposed at dawn today to aggression launched by U.S. coalition jets,” state news agency SANA reported, citing a military source.

The strikes caused only material damage and came within 24 hours of an Islamic State attack on Syrian army positions in the same region, SANA reported.

A military media unit run by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an ally of Damascus, said the strikes were near T2, an energy installation near the border with Iraq about 100 km (60 miles) west of the Euphrates.

A U.S. military official denied any knowledge of the strikes. “We have no operational reporting of a U.S.-led coalition strike against pro-Syrian regime targets or forces,” Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, told Reuters.

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NYT: Joan Wile, a Grandmother Against the War in Iraq, Dies at 86

Image Joan Wile protesting in New York in an undated photograph.

Joan Wile, a former songwriter and actress who in her 70s weaponized the power of grandmotherhood by organizing a nine-year-long weekly vigil by fellow venerable protesters against the war in Iraq, died on May 4 in Nanuet, N.Y. She was 86.

The cause was complications of diabetes, her son, Ron Wasserman, said.

Ms. Wile had written letters and marched against the war, but it was a horrific photograph in Time magazine — of a 12-year-old Iraqi boy who had been burned and lost both arms and whose family had been killed by American bombs — that galvanized her to do even more.

“I’ve got to do something,” Ms. Wile later recalled saying to herself. “Suddenly the word ‘grandmother’ popped into my head. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘that’s a magic word. It connotes wisdom, love, nurturing, maturity, good common sense. People will take us seriously.’ ”

And so Grandmothers Against the War was born. Ms. Wile and a largely gray-haired group parked themselves for an hour of street theater every Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue in front of Rockefeller Center from Jan. 14, 2004, until mid-November 2012 to protest Washington’s continuing military entanglement.

The protesters, sometimes joined by grandfathers and antiwar veterans, never reached platoon size. Their ranks waxed and waned with the weather, and were eventually diminished by time and by other policy priorities……………..

Ms. Wile, far left, and Molly Klopot, right foreground, waiting to enter the criminal court house to answer charges related to their arrest for sitting down in front of the military recruitment station in Times Square.CreditÁngel Franco/The New York Times

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Photo – Bagdad


Women and children gather for free food being distributed ahead of Iftar, the evening meal breaking the Ramadan fast, at the Abdul-Qadir al-Gailani mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 17, 2018. Muslims throughout the world are marking Ramadan – a month of fasting during which the observants abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

REU: At least four killed, 15 wounded in Baghdad bomb blast

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least four people were killed and 15 wounded in a suicide attack in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Thursday, a military spokesman told Reuters.

The attack took place in the predominantly Shi’ite Shula district, in northwest Baghdad.

According to a statement from Iraq’s National Security media center, the attacker detonated an explosive vest after he was besieged by security forces at the entrance to the Saqlawiyah park, resulting in the death and injury of “a number of civilians.”

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though it bore the hallmarks of Islamic State.

Iraq declared victory over the hardline Sunni militant group in December 2017. Although the group has largely been defeated, it continues to carry out sporadic attacks and operate limited cells in the country, particularly in the north, around Iraq’s second city Mosul.

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AP: Iraq says suicide bomber kills 7 in northern Baghdad park

BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up late Wednesday at a crowded park in Iraq’s capital, killing at least seven people in the first such attack in Baghdad since the start a week ago of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, security officials said.

They said police and emergency workers intercepted the bomber as he entered the park in Shoala, a mainly Shiite district in northern Baghdad, but he managed to set off his bomb before being caught.

At least 16 people were wounded in the attack, which the officials said could have claimed many more victims if the bomber had gotten himself deeper into the park before blowing himself up.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Baghdad’s parks, outdoor eateries, cafes and commercial areas are usually packed during Ramadan starting shortly after sunset until the small hours of the next day when Muslims eat their last meal before they begin their daily dawn-to-sunset fast.

Ramadan this year fell in the summer, making the fast particularly grueling given the season’s typically high temperatures in Iraq. Muslims refrain from drink, food and sex from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, which began in Iraq on May 17.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, which bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State extremist group. Iraq has been plagued by nearly daily attacks blamed on militants for most of the 15 years since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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Afghan forces and Taliban suffer casualties in Uruzgan clash

The Afghan armed forces and the Taliban insurgents suffered casualties during an overnight clash in southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. According to the local officials, the latest clash took place in the vicinity of Chora district and as a result at least sixteen militants were killed. The officials are saying that the clash has also .

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15 militants killed in Deh Yak operations in Ghazni: Thunder Corps

At least fifteen militants were killed during the ongoing operations in Deh Yak district of southeastern Ghazni province, the 203rd Thunder Corps said Thursday. The operations are being conducted as part of the Shaheen-1 operations which were launched in response to coordinated Taliban attack. According to Thunder Corps, the armed forces carried out artillery strikes

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US blames Pakistan for the failures in Afghanistan, claims Hafiz Saeed

The leader of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba Hafiz Saeed claims that the United States blames Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan while accusing Washington of using ISIS as a weapon against the Muslim countries. Saeed who is also the leader of Milli Muslim League has said that “Daesh is a dangerous weapon created by the US which it .

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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.

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.

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Total Dollar Cost of Wars Since 2001>>

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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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