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.

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.

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 McGlynn

War News

ALJ: November Yemen’s ‘deadliest month’ in two years: ACLED report

War monitor says it documented more than 3,000 deaths as the Saudi-UAE coalition intensified raids ahead of peace talks.

Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the coalition has launched more than 18,000 air raids on Yemen [Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters]

Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the coalition has launched more than 18,000 air raids on Yemen [Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters]

Rimbo, Sweden – November was one of the bloodiest months in the war in Yemen with at least 3,058 documented deaths, a war monitor has said, as the Saudi-UAE coalition intensified its bombing campaign ahead of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) reported on Tuesday that at least 28,182 fatalities were recorded in the first 11 months of this year, marking a 68 percent increase compared with 2017.

It said at least 60,223 people had been killed since January 2016, nine months after Saudi Arabia launched a massive aerial campaign against its impoverished southern neighbour, a figure six times higher than the frequently cited UN figure of 10,000.

“ACLED’s estimation of Yemen’s direct conflict deaths is far higher than official estimates – and is still underestimated,” Clionadh Raleigh, ACLED’s Executive Director said.

“Fatality numbers are only one approximation of the abject tragedy and terror forced upon Yemenis from several sides. This cannot be overstated”.

Read full story »

GUARD: Senate to vote on Yemen amid growing skepticism over US-Saudi alliance

Vote on whether to limit US military of Saudi-led coalition fighting in a war thought to have killed many tens of thousands of civilians

Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the co-sponsors of a resolution to stop US support of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen.

Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the co-sponsors of a resolution to stop US support of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

The Senate is due to vote on Wednesday on whether to cut US military support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, amid deepening scepticism over the Trump administration’s alliance with Riyadh.

Independent senator Bernie Sanders has said he is determined to move ahead with the resolution after a Republican revolt on 28 November, driven in part by outrage over the Saudi murder of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, defeated the Trump administration’s efforts to stop it going to a vote.

Wednesday’s vote marks the first time a measure invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution, asserting congressional supremacy in matters of war and peace, has progressed so far in the Senate. The vote comes across the backdrop of peace talks in Stockholm in a UN-brokered effort to halt a war that is thought to have already killed many tens of thousands of civilians, mostly from coalition bombing and starvation, largely as a results of the coalition’s strategy of economic strangulation.

The UN has warned that a continuation of the conflict could tip the impoverished nation into the worst famine the world has seen for 100 years.

The Yemen resolution is part of a flurry of congressional action this week, all aimed at rebuking Riyadh and the Trump administration for its staunch support of the Saudi monarchy. A resolution backed by the Senate Republican leadership would condemn Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the Khashoggi murder, while a bill before the foreign relations committee would cut arms sales.

The CIA director, Gina Haspel, is expected to brief the House leadership on the Khashoggi killing on Wednesday, while the secretaries of state and defence, Mike Pompeo and James Mattis will brief on the wider relationship with Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The initial battle on Wednesday will be over the scope of amendments allowed to the measure proposed by Senator Sanders, Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Chris Murphy.

In a bid to sink the measure, the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is expected to try to keep it open to unrelated amendments, but its supporters believe they have enough support among Republican senators to win a procedural vote limiting debate to relevant issues.

Read full story »

REU: On Iraq’s border with Syria, Iran-backed militia warily eye U.S. forces

Al-QAIM, Iraq (Reuters) – From a desert hillside guarded by Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitaries, commander Qasim Muslih can spot Islamic State hideouts across the frontier in Syria. But he also keeps a wary eye on U.S. warplanes soaring overhead.

“The Americans are spying on us,” he said, squinting skywards. “But we can hold the borders. We’ll fight whoever lays a finger on Iraq and its holy shrines.”

The fighters Muslih commands are part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a grouping of mostly Shi’ite militias backed by Iran, which the United States regards as the biggest threat to security in the Middle East.

The PMF has been deploying in growing numbers at the border, fearing hundreds of Islamic State militants who fled Iraq are trying to cross back into Iraqi territory.

The deployment is strengthening the PMF’s de facto control over large stretches of the frontier while its leaders are calling for a formal, permanent role securing the border.

But with fewer Sunni militants to contend with on the Iraqi side a year after Baghdad declared victory over IS, many Shi’ite paramilitaries now see the United States as a bigger threat.

Read full story »

REU: Turkey plans new military operation in Syria in a ‘few days’: Erdogan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey will start a new military operation in Syria east of the Euphrates river “in a few days”, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, a move that could further complicate relations with the United States.

Ankara and Washington have long been at odds over Syria, where the United States has backed the YPG Kurdish militia in the fight against Islamic State insurgents. Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the state in southeastern Turkey for 34 years.

Turkey has already intervened to sweep YPG fighters from territory west of the Euphrates in military campaigns over the past two years, but up until now, it had not gone east of the river – partly to avoid direct confrontation with U.S. forces.

But Erdogan’s patience with Washington over Syria – specifically a deal to clear the YPG from the town of Manbij, just west of the Euphrates – seems to have worn thin…………….Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in northern Syria last month, but that cooperation has also been complicated as Turkey has shelled Kurdish fighters to the east of the Euphrates.

Read full story »

AP: Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi activist Nadia Murad met her country’s president in Baghdad on Wednesday after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy on behalf of victims of wartime sexual violence.

Murad, a member of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, was among thousands of women and girls who were captured and forced into sexual slavery by Islamic State militants in 2014. She became an activist on behalf of women and girls after escaping and finding refuge in Germany.

She arrived in Baghdad from Stockholm on Wednesday, and was received by President Barham Salih.

“There is no meaning to the Nobel prize without the ongoing work for the sake of peace,” Murad told group of community leaders and foreign ambassadors at the presidential palace.

Murad is a member of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, followers of an ancient faith who are falsely branded devil-worshippers by Sunni extremists. When IS swept into northern Iraq in 2014 the militants massacred thousands of Yazidi men and enslaved an estimated 7,000 women and girls.

Many managed to escape as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces gradually drove the militants from all the territory they once held in a grueling 3-year campaign, but some 3,000 Yazidi women and girls are still missing.

Murad called on the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition to search for the missing. She also called on the government to rebuild her hometown, Sinjar. More than 80 percent of Yazidis are still living in displacement camps.

In her Nobel lecture on Monday, Murad urged world leaders to put an end to sexual violence, saying “the only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals.”

Read full story »

NYT: In an Afghan District Verging on Collapse: ‘There Are Too Many Men With Guns’

Afghanistan is home to 35 million people and the United States’ longest-ever foreign war, with no real end in sight. Many of Afghanistan’s 407 districts are caught in a strange limbo between war and peace, stability and violence. There are districts that the United States-led coalition considers to be under government control that don’t have access to basic rights and services, like education, clean drinking water or local government representation. Then there are districts said to be under insurgent control where you’ll still find a government presence — at least within a certain limited stretch of land. (In such places, residents will say things like: “The government controls 10-15 kilometers around the district center.”) The result for millions of Afghans is a constant sense of uncertainty, fear and doubt. Life under the shaky stability of the Western-backed Afghan government and life under the rule of armed insurgents can be decided by as little as a few miles or a few months.

Take the province of Herat, perched at the western edge of the country, along the border with Iran: Here you have Herat City, the provincial capital and one of Afghanistan’s safest and most bustling cities. Eighty miles to the south is the district of Shindand, whose estimated 200,000 residents live in the fragile and shifting conditions of a contested territory. While there is a government presence in the district center and armed outposts manned by the Afghan National Army, Shindand has been repeatedly ranked as an area subject to “insurgent influence” or “insurgent activity” (the terminology changes) in the United States government’s official assessments of district security. Late Thursday night, two army outposts were overrun in a large and coordinated Taliban attack. Local officials reported that at least 18 soldiers were killed and another 20 were taken captive. In August 2017, I traveled from Herat City to Shindand and saw firsthand how constant attacks in the area had affected the security forces and residents who call the district home………………….

As of late 2017, the Taliban controlled 219 schools in Herat Province. An education official told a local news outlet that the department of education could not even monitor schools in Shindand because of security problems. The fear of a Taliban attack was a reality that Nawid, a 14-year-old student, knew all too well. Though there are about 100 schools in the district, Nawid said that he and other students rarely attended, because of security fears. “Most of us only go on test days,” he said. The roads leading to the schools were too unpredictable.

Read full story »

NYT: Death Toll From Taliban Attack in Afghan Capital Rises to 12

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says the death toll from a suicide bombing on the outskirts of Kabul on Tuesday has climbed to 12.

Nasrat Rahimi, the Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesman, says Wednesday that four security forces and eight civilians, including two women and two children, were killed in the suicide car bombing, which targeted a security convoy. He says 12 other people were wounded.

The Taliban, who effectively control nearly half the country and carry out daily attacks on security forces, claimed the bombing.

NYT: Attacks Across Afghanistan Leave at Least 30 Dead

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 12 people were killed on the outskirts of Kabul on Tuesday when explosives in a vehicle detonated near a convoy of security forces, Afghan officials said, and at least 12 others were wounded.

It was the deadliest of several violent attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday that left a total of more than 30 dead, most of them members of security forces.

Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police, said four of those killed in the attack on the convoy were security officers and eight were civilians. “Two women and a child were among the victims,” he said.

In the northern province of Kunduz, at least 10 police officers were killed and 12 others were wounded when an elite Taliban force known as the Red Unit attacked 15 security outposts in the Chardara District, said Gul Ahmad, a police commander there.

“Despite calling for support many times, reinforcement forces never arrived,” he said.

In the west of the country, Taliban fighters attacked an outpost of the Afghan National Civil Order Police in the Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat Province. Four members of the force were killed in that attack and seven others were wounded, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, the spokesman for the Herat police.

That toll only increased as help was called in. “When reinforcement forces were trying to reach the area, they were hit by a roadside bomb,” Mr. Walizada said. “Two police officers were killed and five others were wounded in the explosion.”

Four other members of security forces were killed in smaller attacks by the Taliban in other parts of Kunduz and Badghis Provinces, local officials said.

Read full story »

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

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.

Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, 24, from Export, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 2, 2018, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device on Nov. 27, 2018, in Andar District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.

McClary was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers and one airman who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The service members died Nov. 27, 2018, from injuries sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The airman was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

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 Program Locator 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

Tony Bransby: ABC News

Children gather whilst playing along the road leading into the Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn