25 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

NYT: Discharged and Jobless: Veterans Seek Change in Hiring Rules

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Military veterans who were discharged for relatively minor offenses say they often can’t get jobs, and they hope a recent warning to employers by the state of Connecticut will change that.

The state’s human rights commission told employers last month they could be breaking the law if they discriminate against veterans with some types of less-than-honorable discharges. Blanket policies against hiring such veterans could be discriminatory, the commission said, because the military has issued them disproportionately to black, Latino, gay and disabled veterans.

At least one other state, Illinois, already prohibits hiring discrimination based on a veteran’s discharge status, advocates say, but Connecticut appears to be the first to base its decision on what it deems discrimination by the military. Regardless of the state’s reasons, veterans say, the attention there could at least educate employers.

“You may as well be a felon when you’re looking for a job,” said Iraq War veteran Kristofer Goldsmith. Goldsmith said the Army gave him a general discharge in 2007 because he attempted suicide.

Read full story »

Yemen War Pictures

Saudi Attack

BBC: Yemen war: Wedding party that turned into a ‘bloodbath’

Sameeh was at the wedding in rural Yemen in April that his father Ali was performing at when he was killed by a Saudi airstrike.

More than 250 people have been killed in April and May this year.

BBC: Which country dominates the global arms trade?

Brutal civil wars in Syria and Yemen, coupled with the return of great power rivalries between the US, Russia and China, have brought the world’s arms trade into sharp focus.

And unsurprisingly it is a thriving global industry, with the total international trade in arms now worth about $100bn (£74bn) per year, Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), tells the BBC.

In its latest figures, the defence industry think tank says that major weapons sales in the five years to 2017 were 10% higher than in 2008-12.

And it is the United States that is extending its lead as the globe’s number one arms exporter, adds Sipri.

It estimates that the US now accounts for 34% of all global arms sales, up from 30% five years ago, and are now at their highest level since the late 1990s.

Major arms exporters

“The US has been open to supplying arms to a large variety of recipients, and there are a large number of countries ready to acquire weapons from the US,” says Mr Wezeman.

The US’s arms exports are 58% higher than those of Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter. And while US arms exports grew by 25% in 2013-17 compared with 2008-12, Russia’s exports fell by 7.1% over the same period.

It is Middle East states that have been among the US’s biggest customers – Saudi Arabia tops the list – with the region as a whole accounting for almost half of US arms exports during 2013-17.

Yemen’s civil war

This comes as arms imports to the region have doubled over the past 10 years, driven by widespread conflicts across the area – most notably the civil wars in Syria and in Yemen, which the UN has called the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

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NYT: Human Rights Watch Calls on U.S. to Reject Planned Arms Sales to Bahrain

RIYADH — Human Rights Watch called on the United States to reject two planned arms sales, totaling nearly $1 billion, to Bahrain in light of the Gulf country’s “dismal record on human rights”, the rights group said on Thursday in a statement.

Last week, the U.S. approved a possible sale to Bahrain of 3,000 bomb bodies worth an estimated $45 million. In April, the State Department approved a possible sale of attack helicopters worth an estimated $911 million.

“These two weapons sales make clear that the Trump administration intends nothing short of a free pass on human rights for Bahrain,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch.

A close U.S. and British ally, Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain has cracked down on the opposition, hailing mostly from the Shi’ite Muslim majority, since it crushed pro-democracy demonstrations they led in 2011.

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AP: Report: Airstrikes on Syria pro-government positions kill 12

BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes overnight in eastern Syria killed at least 12 pro-government fighters, all reportedly foreign nationals, a war-monitoring group said Thursday. The Syrian government-run media blamed the strikes on the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

In Damascus, the SANA news agency said coalition aircraft struck military positions between the towns of Boukamal and Hmeimeh in Deir el-Zour province. It did not report any casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war through a network of activists on the ground, said the fatalities were not Syrian nationals but foreign fighters. It said the coalition was likely behind the strikes.

The Pentagon said it had “no information” to substantiate reports the coalition was behind the latest airstrikes.

Late on Thursday, Syrian TV reported a military base in central Syria came under attack from “enemy” fire and that Syrian air defenses confronted a missile attack. It did not give additional details.

Minutes earlier, SANA reported loud explosions at Dabaa airbase in Homs province.

Syria’s government forces have relied on support from the Lebanese group Hezbollah and other regional militias, organized by Iran to wage war on Syrian rebels and IS militants.

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REU: U.S.-backed Syrian forces arrest French Islamic State leader: SDF

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday they had arrested a French citizen who headed an Islamic State group in Syria and had been involved in the Paris and Nice attacks in 2015 and 2016.

An SDF statement said the man arrested was Adrien Lionel Kayali and that he was born in 1983 and converted to Islam in 2003. It said Kayali, who also goes by the name of Abu Osama, had been arrested and then released in France in 2010 on suspicion of belonging to terrorist organizations.

French media have reported the captured man’s name as French citizen Adrien Guihal, wanted in connection with terrorist activities in France.

SDF media spokesman Mustafa Bali told Reuters Adrien Lionel Kayali and Adrien Guihal were two names for the same man.

French judicial sources told Reuters on Thursday there is an arrest warrant for an Adrien Guihal from 2015, and that he is suspected of having claimed responsibility for attacks in Nice and Magnanville, near Paris, in France in 2016.

The SDF, a alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said it believed Kayali had entered Syria in March 2015 into Islamic State-held territory. The SDF said it captured him in the Raqqa region of northern Syria.

Read full story »

REU: Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday that allegations of fraud in national elections held last week will be investigated, according to a statement from his office.

The electoral list of Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist Shi’ite cleric, unexpectedly won the biggest number of seats in the May 12 ballot.

The fraud claims have centered on the city of Kirkuk – although there have been reports of irregularities in multiple provinces – and focused on the tabulation system in electronic voting machines that were used for the first time during the election.

A special committee appointed by the cabinet will investigate the allegations, Abadi’s office said.

Some candidates have also expressed concerns about voter intimidation and reports of chaotic distribution of ID cards, which they claim disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people.

Following several days of complaints – including a call for an investigation by the UN’s senior envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis – the country’s electoral commission said on Monday it had invalidated ballots from 103 polling stations in five provinces.

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NYT: Afghan Official: Taliban Kill 3 Troops in Northern Province

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says the Taliban have attacked a military outpost in northern Faryab province, killing three soldiers and wounding six.

Regional army spokesman Mohammad Anif Rezai says the attack took place in Shirin Tagab district early on Thursday.

He says reinforcement were sent but were unable to reach the site because of land mines and Taliban ambushes along the way.

Rezai says intense fighting is still underway and that the government has ordered 40 commandos airlifted to help the soldiers at the outpost.

He says that so far, five insurgents have been killed in the fighting and seven wounded.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban have lately stepped up their assaults on Afghan troops and government officials as part of their spring offensive.

US forces target high-level Taliban leaders with M142 rocket in Helmand

The US Military in Afghanistan says a high-level meeting of the Taliban leaders was targeted with M142 missile in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan. “Task Force-Southwest, under U.S. Forces-Afghanistan authorities, confirmed a ground-based rocket artillery strike using the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, against a command and control node for high-level Taliban

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Pak Ambassador in Kabul confirms Taliban’s contacts with regional countries

The Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan has confirmed that the Taliban group has good contacts with the regional countries as he admits that Pakistan has limited influence over the group. Khan made the remarks during an interview with The Diplomat and in response to a question regarding President Ghani’s offer to Taliban for .

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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.

War Casualties By Name – Search by Name:

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Total Dollar Cost of Wars Since 2001>>

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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.

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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