19 May

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England

War News

REU: Trump may pardon military men accused or convicted of war crimes: New York Times

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has asked for files to be prepared on pardoning several U.S. military members accused of or convicted of war crimes, including one slated to stand trial on charges of shooting unarmed civilians while in Iraq, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Trump requested the immediate preparation of paperwork needed, indicating he is considering pardons for the men around Memorial Day on May 27, the report said, citing two unnamed U.S. officials. Assembling pardon files normally takes months, but the Justice Department has pressed for the work to be completed before that holiday weekend, one of the officials said.

One request is for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, scheduled to stand trial in coming weeks on charges of shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive with a knife while deployed in Iraq.

Also believed to be included is the case of Major Mathew Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret accused of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010, the Times said.

Reuters could not immediately identify a way to contact Gallagher and Golsteyn.

The newspaper reported that the cases of other men are believed to be included in the paperwork, without naming them.

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GUARD: Old grudges, new weapons… is the US on the brink of war with Iran?

While American hawks talk up an ‘imminent’ threat from Tehran with no hard evidence, echoing the start of the Iraq conflict, hardliners are in the ascendant in Iran

For better or worse, America remains the world’s leading military superpower. In Washington last week, a familiar row erupted over how best that power should be used. Past targets have included Soviet Russia, al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Today the international bogeyman topping the White House’s to-do list is Iran.

Once again the US is in the process of deciding whether to go to war. As always, it is a tangled, messy and dishonest business. On one side, favouring punitive action, stand the Iran hawks. They include neoconservative retreads such as John Bolton, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, who championed the 2003 Iraq invasion; Mike Pompeo, a former CIA director and Christian evangelical who heads the state department; and Mike Pence, the ascetic US vice-president.

On the other side, opposing escalation, stand Democratic party leaders in Congress and a clutch of presidential hopefuls; sceptical Pentagon generals and security agency officials who trust Bolton as far as they can toss an IED; a majority of Washington’s more important allies in the EU and Nato; and China and Russia, which oppose American global power-plays on principle.

The focus of the row was secret intelligence, reportedly gathered by US satellites over recent weeks and presented to officials on 3 May. The photographs purported to show Iranian Revolutionary Guards loading missiles onto dhows in the Gulf. Their presumed purpose was to attack American and allied naval or commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil supplies pass.

The existence of the surveillance photos was top secret – until the information inexplicably leaked to the media last Wednesday. Oddly enough, a few days earlier Saudi Arabia – America’s close ally and sworn foe of Iran – had reported attacks on four tankers in the Strait. Oddly again, no one claimed responsibility and Tehran denied all knowledge. Marine insurers pointed the finger at Iran’s Houthi allies. But while admitting it had no proof, the pro-war camp in Washington immediately blamed Iran or its proxy forces.

The reaction from Bolton and Pompeo was swift. Citing yet more secret intelligence that Iran was rallying Shia militias in Iraq and Syria to “prepare for war”, they had already expedited military reinforcements to the Middle East – an aircraft carrier battlegroup and nuclear-armed bombers. Pompeo dramatically cancelled a visit to Germany and flew to Baghdad to warn of the threat.

John Bolton, now the White House national security adviser, was widely accused of massaging secret intelligence to boost the case for war with Iraq.

The McGlynn: A Very Dangerous Man. Bolton plays Trump like a Stradivarius and  he knows to keep it very simple.

John Bolton, now the White House national security adviser, was widely accused of massaging secret intelligence to boost the case for war with Iraq. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In the wake of the tanker attacks, the administration upped the ante. Details of a White House national security meeting were also leaked. They revealed that Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, had presented a new plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East, supposedly to deter Iran. Another option under discussion was multiple sea and air-launched missile strikes on Iran’s military facilities and suspected nuclear-related targets.

Since then, White House officials have persistently talked up an “imminent” threat from Tehran, Pompeo has personally briefed EU governments (he reportedly got a cool reception), and the US embassy in Baghdad has been partly evacuated. But there’s a snag. Throughout this accelerating process of military and diplomatic escalation, the US has not produced any firm, on-the-record evidence of hostile Iranian action.

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AP: Once again, Iraq caught up in tensions between US and Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside.

The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq’s delicate position: Its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly contentious confrontation.

As tensions escalate, there are concerns that Baghdad could once again get caught in the middle, just as it is on the path to recovery. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave.

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AP: Officials: US strikes kill 17 policemen in south Afghanistan

A U.S. military spokesman, Col. Dave Butler, said the airstrike was called in by Afghan security forces who were taking heavy fire from Taliban fighters.

Before dropping the bombs, Butler said the U.S. along with its allies on the ground sought to ensure the area was clear of friendly forces. An Afghan coordination force reported the targeted areas were safe from fellow personnel.

“Unfortunately, they were not and a tragic accident resulted,” Butler said in a written reply to an Associated Press request for information on the deaths.

He said both Afghan security forces and Taliban were killed in the strike.

“We’re examining the miscommunication to ensure it is not repeated,” said Butler. “We regret this tragic loss of life of our partners and are committed to improvement every day with every mission.”

Helmand’s governor, Mohammad Yasin, said Afghan authorities were also investigating. A Taliban statement claimed U.S. forces were behind the incident.

In the last year, the number of U.S. airstrikes has risen, most often in response to Afghan requests for assistance, but also in an intensified campaign against Islamic State group militants, who are mostly headquartered in eastern Afghanistan.

A higher frequency of U.S. airstrikes has led to more civilian deaths, according to U.N. reports. A quarterly estimate by the U.N. issued recently said more civilians were killed by Afghan and U.S. forces than by insurgents in the first months of 2019.

NYT: Official: Bomb Blast in Western Afghanistan Kills 2

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says that a bomb blast in the western province of Herat has killed at least two people, including a child.

Gelani Farhad, a spokesman for the province’s governor, says that 14 people were wounded in Saturday morning’s attack in the Obe area, including the district administrative chief.

Farhad said that a remotely controlled bomb went off when the district chief’s vehicle was passing by the area’s main market.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Taliban insurgents are active in the province and regularly target Afghan officials and security forces.

KH PRESS: Children among several killed, wounded in Herat bomb explosion

At least 25 civilians including children were killed or wounded in an explosion in western Herat province of Afghanistan earlier today.

According to local government officials, the incident took place at around 8:30am local time in the main the market of Obe district.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Jilani Farhad has confirmed that the target of the explosion was the district administrative chief of Obe district who was crossing the area.

Farhad further added that the explosives were planted in a bicycle which went off as the vehicle of Obe district chief was crossing the area, leaving at least 3 civilians dead including a child.

However, the provincial public health officials are saying at least 5 children were killed and 20 other civilians were wounded in the explosion.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Bush’s Five Big Lies That Led to the Iraq Quagmire

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Spc. Miguel L. Holmes, 22, from Hinesville, Georgia, died May 6, 2019, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from a non-combat incident. The incident is under investigation.

Holmes was assigned to 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Savannah, Georgia.

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Pfc. Michael A. Thomason, 28, from Lincoln Park, Michigan, died April 29, 2019, in Kobani, Syria, of wounds sustained from a non-combat incident.

Thomason was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Spc. Michael T. Osorio, 20, from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, died April 23, 2019, in Taji, Iraq, in a non combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Osorio was assigned to 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Save The Children Organization

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Iraq War Child

Please Never Forget.

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