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31 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

GUARD: Battle for rebel-held Yemen port may trigger humanitarian disaster

Saudi-led forces are eight miles from Hodeidah, where 80% of aid supplies are handled

Saudi-led coalition forces are preparing an all-out assault on the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah in Yemen, in a move that could cut humanitarian lifelines, displace as many as 200,000 people and tip the balance in the three-year civil war in favour of anti-Houthi forces.

After a rapid advance along the coast, anti-Houthi forces are now eight miles from Hodeidah, which was captured by the Iran-backed rebels in 2015.

“First, we will cut off supply lines, especially between [the rebel-held capital] Sana’a and Hodeidah. Then we will place Hodeidah under siege and bring them down, perhaps without a fight,” said a spokesman for the so-called National Resistance forces on Wednesday.

Western countries in the past have successfully dissuaded Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from bombing the port, saying its destruction would lead to widespread death and famine. About 80% of Yemen’s humanitarian and commercial aid runs through Hodeidah………………

A malnourished Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in Hodeidah earlier this year. Photograph: Abdo Hyder/AFP/Getty Images

But an emboldened Saudi-led coalition has been making faster-than-expected progress towards the gates of the city over the past two months, largely ignoring western pleas that peace cannot be restored to Yemen though military means. The fighting has already displaced 100,000 people, and aid agencies predict another 200,000 will be displaced if fighting breaks out in the centre of Hodeidah.

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NYT: ‘The End of the World Will Start Here in Manbij’

About six miles north of the Syrian city Manbij is a town near the Turkish border called Dadat, which has been ruled by multiple occupiers since 2012. Atop one hill, the armed fighters of the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., crouch within bunkers and behind earthen walls. Through binoculars they stare at their enemies: the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed Syrian militias, who have built their own bases and bunkers about a mile away.

Often American special-operations soldiers visit the Kurds for updates and a cup of tea. The Americans live among them near the front line and work with the S.D.F. to keep the Islamic State from returning. During a recent trip to the area in late March, an S.D.F. commander named Shiar drove us in his pickup truck a short distance from the front line to a small house clearly marked by an American flag flying from the roof. Armored vehicles were parked outside.

“You see, this is their base,” Shiar said. “We wanted to give the house for free to the Americans. But the Americans insisted they pay rent for it.”………….Although Syria officially is still a unified country, in reality it has been divided into three sectors by the outside countries intervening on the ground: Russia (in the west, north and center), Turkey (in the northwest) and America (in the north and east).

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REU: Assad raises prospect of U.S. clash in Syria, hits back at Trump

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States should learn the lesson of Iraq and leave Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview, responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s description of him as an animal by saying “what you say is what you are”.

In the interview with RT, the Russian state’s international broadcaster, Assad raised the prospect of conflict with U.S. forces if they do not leave Syria. He vowed to recover territory where American troops have deployed, either through negotiations with Washington’s Syrian allies or by force.

Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran, appears militarily unassailable in the war that has killed an estimated half a million people, uprooted around 6 million people in the country, and driven another 5 million abroad as refugees.

After recovering swathes of territory, Assad now controls the biggest part of Syria. But tracts remain outside his control at the borders with Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.

That includes large parts of the north and east where U.S. special forces deployed during the fight against Islamic State, supporting the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

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NYT: UN Envoy Urges Iraqi Leaders to Form an Inclusive Government

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. envoy for Iraq on Wednesday urged political leaders in the “crucial” post-election period to swiftly form an inclusive new government that works across sectarian and ethnic divides.

Jan Kubis told the Security Council it’s essential that Iraq’s new government “works as one” to pursue much needed political, economic and social reforms.

He also urged the country’s “political elites to draw the necessary conclusions” from the lowest electoral turnout in parliamentary elections since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Kubis said those conclusions are “the need for improved representation, justice for all, democratic accountability, and good governance void of corruption, sectarian quota system, nepotism and patronage.”…………….In a surprise result, supporters of a populist Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, whose fighters attacked American troops in the years that followed the invasion, emerged with the largest number of seats won by a single bloc, 54. A coalition of paramilitary forces came in second with 47 of the chamber’s 329 seats while Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s “Victory” bloc took 42 seats.

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AP: US general says some Taliban interested in peace

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan are showing interest in peace talks, the top U.S. commander in Kabul said Wednesday, citing “off stage” contacts involving what he described as mid- and high-level leaders of the insurgency.

“A number of channels of dialogue have opened up between the various stakeholders in the peace process,” Nicholson told reporters at the Pentagon. Speaking from his office in Kabul, Nicholson said he could not name names because the contacts are being pursued confidentially to improve the chances of advancing toward actual peace talks.

“What you’re seeing right now is a lot of the diplomatic activity and dialogue is occurring off the stage, and it’s occurring at multiple levels,” he said. “So you see mid-level, senior-level Taliban leaders engaging with Afghans.” He added that unspecified international organizations, foreign governments and other interested parties also are involved.

U.S. officials have talked up the prospects for peace many times over the course of the 17-year war in Afghanistan, only to be disappointed. When President Donald Trump announced last August that he was committing to winning the war with a revamped strategy, he said the goal was to compel the Taliban — with help from Pakistan and other interested nations — to seek peace. However, a U.S. government watchdog agency recently reported that it saw few signs that this strategy was working, while acknowledging that the Afghan security forces are getting better training.

Inside the Taliban, Nicholson said, there is a “robust dialogue” underway with regard to whether and how to end the war. He asserted there are “many points of intersection” between Taliban and Afghan proposals for pursuing peace.

“This is what, you know, leads me to the conclusion that there’s tremendous potential to advance the reconciliation dialogue,” he said. “And, again, I don’t want to go any further. My diplomatic colleagues are the ones that are involved in this, and their ability to be successful depends in part upon the confidentiality of the process.”

Seth Jones, a counterterrorism expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there appears to be little prospect of an end to the battlefield stalemate between the Taliban and U.S.-supported Afghan forces. He said the Taliban lack military capabilities and popular support to hold key pieces of terrain, particularly in urban areas. But the Afghan government, he said, “is unlikely to defeat the Taliban on the battlefield for the foreseeable future.”

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AP: Afghan forces repel Islamic State attack at Kabul ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Islamic State militants, including two suicide bombers, dressed in military uniforms and riding in two armored vehicles launched a surprise attack on the Interior Ministry in Kabul on Wednesday but Afghan forces managed to repel the assault, leaving all the attackers dead.

It was a rare victory for Afghan security forces, who have struggled to secure the capital in recent months amid relentless attacks by the Taliban and the IS affiliate in Afghanistan.

According to the ministry spokesman, Najib Danish, one policeman was killed and five were wounded in the assault.

The attack began around noon when a group of 10 militants tried to storm the ministry compound in Kabul, Danish said.

Two of the attackers detonated their explosives, allowing eight others to pass through an outer gate at the ministry where they traded fire with security forces before they were eventually killed.

Danish said the “attackers were dressed in military uniforms” — apparently seeking to confuse Afghan security forces guarding the ministry.

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NYT: Afghan Troops Free Prisoners Held by Taliban; Bomb Wounds 6

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan military spokesman says elite commando units have freed dozens of prisoners held by the Taliban, including women and children, in an early morning operation in southern Helmand province.

The spokesman, Abdul Qadeir Bahadorzai, says Thursday’s operation took place in the district of Kajaki and freed 103 people held in two prisons there run by the Taliban. He says four Taliban fighters were killed in the gunbattle.

Bahadorzai says five women and two children were among the freed captives, most of whom were civilians.

Meanwhile, also in Helmand, a district governor says a suicide car bomber wounded six people, including three policemen, on Thursday morning.

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Video: US targets Taliban leaders compound with HIMARS in Helmand

The US Military has released the footage of the HIMARS artillery rocket strike on a compound of the Taliban group leaders in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan. The video shows the impact of the artillery rockets on a compound which was apparently being used as a command and control center by the group. The

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Taliban leader killed over sexual assault attempt in Nangarhar province

A local Taliban leader was killed as he was attempting to sexually assault a woman in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The provincial government media office said the Taliban leader Mirwais alias Ghobli was killed as he was attempting to intrude into a house in Ghani Khel district. The statement further added that Mirwais was .

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Taliban leaders involved in Farah city attack killed in Helmand HIMARS strike

The commander of the US Forces and the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General John Nicholson says the HIMARS strike in southern Helmand province has left at least fifty Taliban leaders who had recently taken part in Farah city attack. Gen. Nicholson informed regarding the development as he was briefing reporters via video teleconference.

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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

 

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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