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02 Jun

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: Saudi-led coalition assault on Yemen port would be disaster: aid agencies

GENEVA (Reuters) – As forces of the Saudi-led military coalition close in on the main Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies fear a major battle that will also shut down a vital lifeline for millions of hungry civilians.

Senior aid officials urged Western powers providing arms and intelligence to the coalition to push the mostly Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab allies to reconvene U.N. talks with the Iran-allied Houthi movement to avoid a bloodbath and end the three-year war.

A coalition spokesman said on Tuesday that forces backed by the coalition were 20 kms (12 miles) from the Houthi-held city of Hodeidah, but did not specify whether there were plans for an assault to seize the Red Sea port, long a key target.

“The coalition ground forces are now at the doorstep of this heavily-fortified, heavily-mined port city,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told Reuters. “Thousands of civilians are fleeing from the outskirts of Hodeidah which is now a battle zone.”

“We cannot have war in Hodeidah, it would be like war in Rotterdam or Antwerp, these are comparable cities in Europe.”

Troops from the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni government are believed to lead coalition forces massing south of the city of 400,000, another aid official said, declining to be named.

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NYT: Trump Had Power to Attack Syria Without Congress, Justice Dept. Memo Says

WASHINGTON — More than a year after President Trump first ordered the American military to bomb Syrian government forces as punishment for using chemical weapons, the Justice Department has claimed that he wields broad constitutional power to order such limited acts of warfare without congressional approval.

In a 22-page legal opinion disclosed late Thursday, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel declared that Mr. Trump could lawfully and unilaterally direct airstrikes targeting Syria installations because he determined that doing so would be in the national interest, and because the attack would carry little risk of escalation.

“Given the absence of ground troops, the limited mission and time frame and the efforts to avoid escalation, the anticipated nature, scope and duration of these airstrikes did not rise to the level of a ‘war’ for constitutional purposes,” wrote Steven A. Engel, the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.

That claim was rejected by Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, who has regularly argued that Congress is failing to live up to its constitutional role in making decisions about war and peace. He called the argument that firing missiles at a foreign nation was not “war” nonsense……………..Still, Mr. Engel’s memo was solely devoted to the domestic law question of whether Mr. Trump could order such strikes without congressional permission. He did not acknowledge or address the separate international law question of whether the strike put the United States in breach of the United Nations Charter, a treaty it has ratified that permits one country to attack another only in self-defense or with Security Council authorization, and if so, why Mr. Trump could do that.

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ALJ: Syrian refugees in Lebanon fear they may never return home

Bashar al-Assad’s government is planning to seize the property of any of the five million Syrian refugees who cannot prove ownership of their homes.

Millions of Syrians displaced by the war are at risk of losing their homes.

New legislation allows the government to seize property if people cannot prove ownership.

The Syrian opposition said it the government’s attempt to shift the demographics in Syria in the loyalists’ favour.

NYT: U.S. Strikes Killed Nearly 500 Civilians in 2017, Pentagon Says

An airstrike by American-led coalition forces targeted the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, in July 2017.CreditAhmad al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — United States military actions killed 499 civilians in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen last year, the Pentagon said on Friday in a report that was a month overdue.

The report, which covers counterterrorism airstrikes and ground operations around the world, added that “more than 450 reports of civilian casualties from 2017 remained to be assessed,” which means that the number of acknowledged deaths could increase. It also said that 169 civilians were injured in American strikes.

The report does not list any civilian casualties in Somalia, where nongovernmental organizations and local officials have pinned scores of civilian deaths on American or American-backed military actions.

The Defense Department “has no credible reports of civilian casualties resulting from U.S. strikes in Somalia in 2017,” the report said. “One 2017 report of civilian casualties in Somalia remains under investigation.”

The report also said there were no credible claims of civilian casualties in Libya.

Such discrepancies are not exclusive to the Trump administration. During both Barack Obama’s and George W. Bush’s presidencies, accounts of strikes from American and nongovernmental organization sources were so at odds that they often seemed to be describing different events.

A 2016 executive order signed by Mr. Obama, and later enshrined by Congress, mandated that the Defense Department give an annual accounting of the number of civilians killed in American counterterrorism strikes around the world. Human rights groups criticized the Trump administration when the May 1 deadline for the first report came and went.

After its release, the report was also condemned by organizations that track civilian casualties.

“The Defense Department has deemed that the vast majority of claims of civilian casualties are not credible without ever investigating them,” Daphne Eviatar, a director with Amnesty International USA, said in an email. “Its numbers therefore likely severely undercount the actual civilian death toll.”………….The report asserted that “although civilian casualties are a tragic and unavoidable part of war, no force in history has been more committed to limiting harm to civilians than the U.S. military.” It was unclear what Defense Department officials based that assertion on.

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NYT: Czech Parliament Approves More Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq

PRAGUE — Czech lawmakers have approved a government plan to increase the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan and other countries.

The plan calls for the Czech Republic to deploy 390 soldiers in Afghanistan through 2020, up from the current 230, as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission that provides training, advice and assistance to local security forces.

As many as 110 Czechs will serve in Iraq, including military training instructors, up from 49 at present. Some 120 soldiers will be dispatched to Africa’s Sahel region, including Mali, as part of a European Union force.

Up to 385 Czechs will also serve in the Baltic states and Poland in NATO forces.

Friday’s vote in the parliament’s lower house followed approval by its upper house, the Senate.

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NYT: A Soldier in Afghanistan Died After Racist Hazing. Now His Story Is an Opera.

When she visits St. Louis this weekend to see the life and death of her only child transformed into an opera, Su Zhen Chen will be seated near an aisle, and an exit.

“If I can endure, I will watch the whole opera,” Mrs. Chen said in a phone interview this week before leaving her home in New York. “If I don’t feel like I can bear it, I’ll leave midway.”

It will be understandably difficult to watch. The opera, “An American Soldier,” by the composer Huang Ruo and the playwright David Henry Hwang, which is having its premiere in a newly expanded version at the Opera Theater of St. Louis on Sunday, tells the story of her son, Danny Chen, a native New Yorker who enlisted in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan.

Soon after he got there, in 2011, he was subjected to brutal hazing and racist taunts by fellow soldiers in his battalion, and killed himself. He was 19.

His death led to several courts-martial and helped spark a national conversation about hazing and racism in the armed forces. Mrs. Chen said she hopes that the opera will spread his story, in the hopes that others will be spared his fate. But she is not sure that she can stand to watch the whole thing.

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Video: Special Forces target Taliban cells likely involved in Kabul attacks

The Afghan Special Forces conducted raids on Taliban compounds in central Maidan Wardak province to degrade the abilities of the group to conduct attacks in Kabul using their hideouts in the neighboring province. “8th Special Operations Kandak Commandos, advised by U.S. Special Operations Forces, conducted raids on suspected Taliban compounds in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province,

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Archaeologists among 4 dead, wounded in Kabul city blast

At least four people including archeologists were killed or wounded in an explosion in Kabul city earlier this today, the security officials said. The incident took place in the vicinity of Bani Hesar area of the city after an explosion ripped through the vehicle of the archeologists. The Kabul Security Commandment officials confirmed that one .

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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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